14 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before the debut LP from British folk-rock sensation Jake Bugg was even released in the U.S., discerning ears (and nascent fans) may have noticed his music in a Gatorade commercial. The driving, rebellious, Dylan-in-his-youth tune "Lightning Bolt" may at first seem like an odd choice for a soundtrack to 60 seconds of Gatorade history, but it works. The song's fiery guitar and racing melody electrify like, well, a lightning bolt. Bugg topped the British charts in 2012, at the tender age of 18. This young musician sounds like an old soul, with influences from Johnny Cash to The Everly Brothers and Donovan coloring his work; he's been known to cover Jimi Hendrix (his guitar work is astonishing for someone who only started playing at 12). This long-awaited debut is solid from start to end. Among the record's many delights are ballads imbued with pop references from the Merseybeat sound to Oasis ("Note to Self," "Slide"), barn-burners, quiet fingerpicked gems à la early Dylan ("Someone Told Me," "Trouble Town"), and swaggering country-pop ("Two Fingers"). He even pays homage to blues icon Robert Johnson on the closing track, "Fire." Smart boy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before the debut LP from British folk-rock sensation Jake Bugg was even released in the U.S., discerning ears (and nascent fans) may have noticed his music in a Gatorade commercial. The driving, rebellious, Dylan-in-his-youth tune "Lightning Bolt" may at first seem like an odd choice for a soundtrack to 60 seconds of Gatorade history, but it works. The song's fiery guitar and racing melody electrify like, well, a lightning bolt. Bugg topped the British charts in 2012, at the tender age of 18. This young musician sounds like an old soul, with influences from Johnny Cash to The Everly Brothers and Donovan coloring his work; he's been known to cover Jimi Hendrix (his guitar work is astonishing for someone who only started playing at 12). This long-awaited debut is solid from start to end. Among the record's many delights are ballads imbued with pop references from the Merseybeat sound to Oasis ("Note to Self," "Slide"), barn-burners, quiet fingerpicked gems à la early Dylan ("Someone Told Me," "Trouble Town"), and swaggering country-pop ("Two Fingers"). He even pays homage to blues icon Robert Johnson on the closing track, "Fire." Smart boy.

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