12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While the U.K. pushed homeboy Jake Bugg to the top of its charts in 2012, in the U.S. a few fans of Bugg’s vintage-flavored, Dylan-meets-skiffle rock ’n’ roll took the young Jake to their collective bosom, impressed with his playing skills and passion. Bugg’s Dylanesque tones both hurt and helped him. For Album No. 2, American producer Rick Rubin took the singer/songwriter under his wing (or, to be exact, to his Shangri La studio in Malibu) and showed the kid how to fatten his sound up with guitars that plug in and rave up: combining his vintage aesthetic with more contemporary wrappings. Bugg also collaborates again with Snow Patrol’s Iain Archer and sophisticated pop auteur Brendan Benson. Shangri La feels more grown up and more rounded; where Bugg’s first album had some truly killer songs, Shangri La offers a few just as strong. There's the pugnacious fit “Slumville Sunrise,” the punky “What Doesn’t Kill You,” the summery lament “Me and You,” and the catchy and radio-friendly “Messed Up Kids.” A handful of tracks demand more time to plumb their depths, like the roadhouse rager “Kingpin” and the brokenhearted “Pine Trees.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

While the U.K. pushed homeboy Jake Bugg to the top of its charts in 2012, in the U.S. a few fans of Bugg’s vintage-flavored, Dylan-meets-skiffle rock ’n’ roll took the young Jake to their collective bosom, impressed with his playing skills and passion. Bugg’s Dylanesque tones both hurt and helped him. For Album No. 2, American producer Rick Rubin took the singer/songwriter under his wing (or, to be exact, to his Shangri La studio in Malibu) and showed the kid how to fatten his sound up with guitars that plug in and rave up: combining his vintage aesthetic with more contemporary wrappings. Bugg also collaborates again with Snow Patrol’s Iain Archer and sophisticated pop auteur Brendan Benson. Shangri La feels more grown up and more rounded; where Bugg’s first album had some truly killer songs, Shangri La offers a few just as strong. There's the pugnacious fit “Slumville Sunrise,” the punky “What Doesn’t Kill You,” the summery lament “Me and You,” and the catchy and radio-friendly “Messed Up Kids.” A handful of tracks demand more time to plumb their depths, like the roadhouse rager “Kingpin” and the brokenhearted “Pine Trees.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
329 Ratings
329 Ratings
AVFC_Arlene ,

<3

Jake is pure perfection, can't wait for the album, utterly stoked. Concert in January should be quite amazing too.

Ajbugg ,

Awesome

Loved the whole debut album, my girlfriend introduced me to this guy. I love him and her. And also the two singles.

44034 ,

A step up!

I listened with some interest to Bugg's first release. I thought it was good, but not earthshattering. When Shangri La came out I read some reviews that see it as a step backward. A move away from a Dylanesque style. Uninspired songs. Then I listened to the release. I was floored. Without disparaging the first release, Shangri La shows me an artist who has grown. This is great stuff. Me and You, All Your Reasons and Kingpen are fantastic. I'm sold on Bugg.

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