Jake Bugg
Jake Bugg

Released: 15th October 2012
Label: Mercury Records

The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (‘89), Oasis - Definitely Maybe (‘94), The Libertines - Up The Bracket (‘02), three debut albums that defined a generation and influenced people to do something with their lives. Now, at a time when music is crying out for a musician to stand head and shoulders above the crowd, to prove to people that there is more to life than reality TV shows, to prove that you can still write and record the music you believe in and do not have to sell your soul to the devil. The artist we have been waiting for has finally arrived, he is a young man from a council estate in Nottingham, his name is Jake Bugg and this self titled debut album is one that can rub shoulders with the all time great debut albums.

From start to finish this is an album that has classic stamped all over it, you can trace its influence from skiffle music, through to Bob Dylan, The La’s, The Coral, The Libertines and Alex Turner. The album opens with ‘Lightning Bolt’ a wonderful, infectious track that instantly grabs your attention, the track weaves perfectly from verse to chorus ensuring this is a track you will never forget. ‘Two Fingers’ is the tale of youth set to a beautiful acoustic melody “Hold two fingers up to yesterday, light a cigarette and smoke it all away”. ‘Taste It’ is played with such urgency and passion. ‘Seen It All’ showcases Jake’s observational song writing style, as he conjures up images of what growing up in a council estate was like for him. ‘Simple As This’ and ‘Country Song' are two beautiful ballads where Jake's voice is backed by a gentle acoustic guitar, both these tracks will have you hanging on every word that he sings.

Just when you think this album could not get any better, ‘Broken’ provides the album with its anthemic moment, this is a track that shows the real tenderness and fragility in Jake’s voice. This is a track that will more than stand the test of time and is certainly one that I will be listening to for the rest of my days on this planet. ‘Trouble Town’ will be the track that inspires a new generation to escape from life in a small town “The only thing that’s pretty is the thought of getting out”. ‘Ballad of Mr. Jones’ has a dark undercurrent throughout the song ensuring the listener is once again left hanging on every sound that Jake Bugg creates. ‘Slide’ marks Jake out as a songwriter with an old head on those young shoulders “I’ve been thinking about the way the world turns”. You can hear Jake’s heart breaking in‘Someone Told Me’ as he sings “Broke my heart when I knew, That I could never be with you”. ‘Note To Self’ and ‘Someplace’ are two timeless songs that are full of emotion, honesty and pain. ‘Fire’ brings this fourteen track debut album to a perfect end, sounding like it was recorded a long time ago. There are not many artists who could keep you interested in a fourteen track debut album, Jake does more than keep you interested, he leaves you crying out for more.

I seriously can’t stress just how vital Jake Bugg is right now for music, if you are looking for an escape from life, looking for an artist to inspire you during this era of high unemployment and deep social unrest then Jake Bugg is the artist just waiting to change your world.

Steve Tay

Dry the River
Shallow Bed

Released: 5th Mar 2012
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