Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 71
  2. Negative: 9 out of 71

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  1. Feb 20, 2014
    7
    not sure how much Jake Bugg has done in making this record's sound

    On first impressions, Jake Bugg sounds like a breath of fresh air. His bluesy guitar and gravelly vocal delivery shout coolness - he's got some catchy stuff and the production on the record gives him a deceptively lo-fi sound. On closer inspection we see that our boy Jake's best material is "co-written" and it becomes
    clear that the talented Iain Archer is in fact Mr Bugg's puppet master. Bugg has a serious writing and production team behind him who together forge a sound that looks not necessarily back to the 60's but to bands like The La's and Oasis who did look back to the 60's. Noel Gallagher made a career out of stealing hooks and riffs from the Beatles, the Stones and later on the likes of The La's and Dylan. The thing with Gallagher was while the material was never original, Oasis always brought their own personality to the material and made it their own to an extent. Bugg brings none of his own personality to proceedings and you get the feeling that without his A team in the studio, he'd struggle. Only time will tell on that one.

    I could see how a young kid just getting into music might really like this record as its catchy as hell and has a bit of an edge to its sound. However for anyone with a broader musical horizon, you'll have heard it all done before and heard it done much better. I believe Bugg cites Oasis as an influence - while I'd count myself as a fan of some of the Gallagher brothers work, the fact that he cites them as an influence as opposed to their, shall we say "source material" says a lot about his musical awareness. There is enough decent stuff on show for the record to warrant a good score but not sure how much Jake Bugg has done in making the record sound like this. I would class him as an Indie equivalent of Miley Cyrus or one of them - produced for mass consumption by the teenage market.
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  2. Jan 30, 2014
    1
    I want to write this review in the simple and honest way possible. Is he the next Dylan ? No. Is he a great guitar player ? Yes. Is he a great songwriter? Not at all Why? Cause' on an album of 14 songs he wrote only Country Song,Someplace, Someone Told Me and Fire. What's wrong with these 4 songs? If you compare any of these 4 songs, for example Fire to the other songs that Ian Archer wrote like the most famous Lighting Bolt you can clearly
    see the difference of songwriting,between a normal teenager that can't
    write (Jake Bugg, Fire) and a professional songwriter (Ian, Lighting Bolt)
    And who wrote the other 10 songs: Ian Archer, Jake Bugg has only taken the credit.

    Final judgment : Basically, this album was supposed to be a great album because of the incredible talent musically and lyrically of a teen promise in the world of the music. If you see things this way, then this album it's a fake but if you see it like a folk pop album written by Ian and sunged by Jake , then I can say that is a medium almost good album. The problem is that those days label do anything to sell new things and this is the result, a normal teen mainstream artist disguised as and inde rock musician just because he smokes a cigarette drinks a beer and listen to a couple of old songs.
    I completely agree with vaughan1138
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  3. Jan 18, 2014
    8
    It's really incredible to know, despite the course that music is taking today among young recording artists, there's a little ray of light. At least, 19 year-old singer-songwriter Bugg is showing us that hope is the last thing to get lost. Making a journey from raspy Dylan's voice in the 60's until the magnificient explosion of Gallagher brothers in the 90's, this boy sings with no borders. This is just in diapers. With a huge security, Bugg is for big things. Expand
  4. Jan 18, 2014
    8
    Feels like listening to Bob Dylan. His voice is totally captivating, the lyrics are mature, and the music - while simple - does a great job to fit the overall album mood and his singing style.

    For a 19 year old, this is pretty beautiful. I read that his second album wasn't appreciated as his debut, but i'm checking it out anyway.
  5. Nov 18, 2013
    8
    Jake Bugg's voice sounds nostalgic and angry at the same time, creating a sweet but powerful atmosphere in all his songs, that follow a single rythm and style throughout the album. His lyrics are creative and socially-meaningful, his range stays calm in all the notes, and his variations make some songs a little more interesting than others. I really enjoyed this 70's-style country indie folk CD and I'm glad to hear that it received several good critics in the media and people. Can't wait to listen to his second album and see what he's been up to. Expand
  6. Nov 15, 2013
    9
    Love this album. Great melodies, layered instruments, and a great variety of genres. Some songs reminded me a bit of Dylan. The guitar riff in "What Doesn't Kill You" reminds me of DK's Holiday in Cambodia. There's also a 70s sound to some songs, from Neil Young to Alan Parsons Project. In that sense, it sounds both new and familiar, a nice mix of genres that comes together as music crafted by Jake Bugg. I've read a couple of reviews complaining about his voice, but I like it just fine. Definitely recommend you give this a listen and just enjoy. Expand
  7. Oct 23, 2013
    9
    Nottingham Singer-Songwriter Jake Bugg unleashes undeniable talent and heart on his eponymous debut, where he draws influences from artists like Bob Dylan to The Beatles to Johnny Cash. His music overflows with authenticity but still holds true to his influences as he glides through his fourteen track album with ease and grace. Looking forward, Bugg is going to become big, his name striking marquees everywhere. If the words "JAKE BUGG WORLD TOUR" doesn't pop up anytime soon, not only will his future will be finished, but the fall of a new, talented star and adorned musician will leave an empty, deserving gap in the hearts of many. This album will leave you content, refreshed and hooked. Hopefully even leaving you charitable for his cause but that's already skyrocketing up and his reign is beginning. Expand
  8. Oct 16, 2013
    0
    Terrible rip off merchant. In one song he sings like Bob Dylan the next he's singing like John Lennon. Make your mind up who you're gonna rip off, even better try and do something original with some artistic merit. Find your own voice! Usually don't pay much attention to the person behind the music but if slagging off the biggest band in the world One Direction I thoroughly dislike them but its a bit of a bandwagon now) isn't a desperate PR attempt to gain more sales then I don't know what is. The songs themselves are simple, repetitive, mind numbing, NME friendly, Radio One Friendly, Irrelevant, Co-Written!!...75% of the record is co-credited to a guy that used to be in Snow Patrol. I don't usually get angry about music but I'm fed up of being told how good this guy is. He won't stand the test of time. He won't stand the test of time... Expand
  9. Jul 11, 2013
    10
    You've got to respect a 19 year old who can sing about loss, love and lost love and not come across affected, vapid or over produced. Bugg delivers 14 short but engaging songs that never leave you feeling like they've been cut short. This is an album you'll want to listen to start to finish yet every song feel like it could be the next hit single.

    There's talent here and I imagine we're
    in for a lot more excellent music from Mr. Bugg in the future. Expand
  10. May 24, 2013
    2
    Generic, simple rubbish is the only way to describe this album. Lightning Bolt contains the same 3 chord pattern the ENTIRE way through, symptomatic of an album and artist that is far more style over substance. Every song is a regressive, cliched and boring with no unique features to differentiate it to the 100's of other like it. Nearly every song's main writing credit is to a 40+ year old producer, and Bugg is signed to major label Mercury, putting pay to any notion of "authenticity". This perhaps explains the downright embarrassing lyricism on display here. "Running from the feds" is one among many the try-hard, faux authentic lyrics of this album, which can only be seen as a cynical ploy by Mercury to create an artist with "street cred". The accent he puts on is downright ridiculous, and makes him appear as a bad Bob Dylan impersonator. Jake Bugg? More like Fake Bugg. Expand
  11. May 3, 2013
    10
    Classic album; 14 songs and the range from ballads to folksy feet stompin toons. Stripped back folk music is the best way to describe. Truly minimalistic in today's music scene. This guy is 2 parts Dylan 1 part Hotel Yorba. Will keep listening for Jake's new stuff.
  12. May 2, 2013
    10
    Excellent album! Such masterpiece is rare in this raw new world but Bugg manages and delivers this, this, this brilliant piece of art. A must hear, recommended!
  13. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    By taking elements of the 1970s singer-songwriter folk-rock of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Don McLean, giving them a more upbeat-indie sound, and writing lyrics that are more relevant to today, Jake Bugg succeeds in capturing a sound that both traditional and new day folk-rock enthusiasts will enjoy. The album provides a look at the full range of Jake Bugg's capabilities, with some upbeat rock tunes like Lightning Bolt and Trouble Town as well as some slower, deeper songs such as Ballad of Mr. Jones and Note to Self. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next album and am expecting his fledgling career to take flight soon. Expand
  14. Apr 4, 2013
    10
    Jake Bugg's debut combines folksy purity with gritty urban storytelling. His music mirrors his many influences Don McLean, Donovan, Bob Dylan, The Beatles while sounding fresh and vibrant.
  15. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    A beautiful album that blew me away right from the powerful, rocking beginning. Jake Bugg writes with wisdom that just isn't seen in most teenage musicians. His songs are, for the most part, well-written and well-sung. Some songs are disappointingly average when compared to the rest of this brilliant album (Fire, Note To Self), but at the same time, some songs are probably my favourites of all the tracks I listened to last year (Simple As This, Seen It All, Two Fingers). Despite the few disappointing songs, this album still remains one of my most played albums. It was released about 4 months ago, and I still haven't even come close to tiring of it. It's just that good and that addictive. Expand
  16. Jan 7, 2013
    9
    In the way "Definitely Maybe" opened with "Rock and Roll Star" an instant classic, "Jake Bugg" opens with "Lightning Bolt" an instantly memorable debut track. It also serves as an indication of the quality of the young, fresh and talented songwriter's caliber. Throughout the album you will hear a shocking degree of maturity in Bugg's lyrics and music, tempered by the cheekiness that can only come with youth; as the singer-songwriter is only 18, he is in no shortage of that. The influence of Bob Dylan, Donovan and Britpop bleeds from the album in a unique, breath of fresh air on what, among many is believed to be a dwindling music scene in regards to youth and the domination of popular music. Jake Bugg and his self titled debut album serves as a dose of hope as this album stands out as one of the greatest debut albums since "Definitely Maybe" and "Razorlight". With this debut album, Jake Bugg has kicked off on the right foot and has exploded on the scene, ironically like a "Lightning Bolt". This album indicates great things to come from the young, singer-songwriter. Expand
  17. Jan 1, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. His music reminds me of George Fornby somewhat - especially the "washing windows" song! For those who don't like nasal singers with twangy guitars, stay away! Expand
  18. Nov 23, 2012
    10
    Great album.Poetic social realism .With a distinctive sound that's certain to have mass appeal, this teen troubadour is set to smash it.Bugg's voice, usually accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar, takes on a preternatural wisdom.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Apr 15, 2013
    80
    For a teenager's debut, Jake Bugg shows an artist who is crazy fully formed, stepping into a journey that should be worth following.
  2. Apr 10, 2013
    60
    Growing up in the Nottingham projects may have given Bugg enough life experience to get away with penning “Seen It All,” but it’s his sonic aesthetic that give his tales truth.
  3. Apr 10, 2013
    78
    The 19-year-old’s sound combines retro folk with elements of Britpop that’s as raw as it is original, which equals one of the more exciting debuts in some time.