Jake Bugg: Shangri-La Album Review

jake bugg shangri a

At only 19, Nottingham, England native singer/songwriter Jake Bugg, exudes talent far passed his years. From his music, listeners will hear sounds relative to the melodies of Bob Dylan, Oasis, and the Arctic Monkeys. While achieving critical acclaim from his first album,  his second album, Shangri-La, further supports Bugg’s promising career ahead. Despite whatever obstacles he experienced through his mid-teens his worldliness only makes for better content within his work and work ethic.

jake_bugg09_website_image_gallery_wuxgaBugg’s trademark nasal vocals provide familiarity for his fans, and much of the tone of voice and song material hardly differs from that of his first self-titled album. However lacking in differences, Bugg’s second album, overseen by popular producer Rick Rubin, expands and toughens the Brit’s sound.

The first half of Shangri-La involves a tinge of punk guitars and Bugg’s distinctive whine sounds. As a whole, the resulting piece represents maturity for the artist and the continued development of Jake Bugg as someone especially worth watching.

“There’s A Beast And We All Feed It” is fast, swift, and upbeat. The song that throws listeners into the album and foreshadows the sounds and emotions about to be presented with each song of Shangri-La. It emits a taste of teenage angst and how adolescents all have trouble knowing which path or direction to take in the enigma which is life.

The memorable beat “Slumville Sunrise”  makes for a catchy song, and elements of his first album are clearly felt throughout the lyrics. Bugg’s Nottingham roots come through in the song, and  “Slumville Sunrise’” displays Bugg’s rockier and rigid sound not heard in the majority of his work.

“What Doesn’t Kill You” legitimately exemplifies how Bugg has the ability to give a punk-fired electric-guitar-riff filled rock anthem. This song makes the sing-a-long and mellow acoustics from the artist’s first album hard to believe at times. It is exciting to hear. Bugg highlights his skills to explore new styles and genres of sound.

“Me and You’” exhibits the more solitary moments of Shangri-La. The ballad is melodic, pleasant, and meant to show off Bugg’s vocal talents. This song reminds fans of the musical styles that made people fall in love with the Brit form the start, while also suggesting the artist’s maturity.

Guitar strums, heard in “All Your Reasons” and “Kingpin”,  the bass-infused lines of  “Messed Up Kids”,  and organ tinges in  “Kitchen Table”  not only exemplify the variety jake buggmusic listened to on the record, but the songs highlight the strong lyrics as well.

“A Song About Love” shows the heartfelt love struck themes, while “Simple Pleasures” combines quiet choruses to produce full emotion. Acoustics shown in “Pine Trees” and “Storm Passes Away” are songs that represent Jake’s experiences, too. They more specifically illustrate the Brit’s writing sessions in Nashville.

Album collaborator Rubin helps construct Shangri-La by capturing Bugg’s talented storytelling . The result is a mature album worth listening to as the career and development of Jake Bugg continues.

Tune in to kssu.com every Friday to listen to, me DJ SoulForce on the Zen hour from 2-3pm for your alt/indie fix!


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