Shangri La - Jake Bugg
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Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the British singer-songwriter was produced by Rick Rubin in Malibu.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 100
    If it's not quite the jump from Bob Dylan to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, it's the closest recent equivalent, a prodigious rate of development for such a tyro talent, all the more remarkable for not being reliant on significant musical progression, so much as raw songwriting ability.
  2. Nov 18, 2013
    80
    Smug, smarmy, metropolitan critics might declare the album generic and derivative, but the kid undeniably has tunes--more tunes than such people have ever written even in their wildest rock star fantasies.
  3. Nov 21, 2013
    80
    The diversity and quality of his songwriting should be even harder to ignore on this second. [Dec 2013, p.84]
  4. 60
    Shangri La is basically more of the same, and for many of his fans, that’ll be more than enough. It would be a shame, however, if it was enough for Bugg, too.
  5. Nov 20, 2013
    50
    Though Shangri La is at least entertaining, it’s without that lasting, killer incision that will guarantee longevity.
  6. Feb 3, 2014
    40
    As much as the album’s production seems to (want to) suggest Bugg’s artistic growth, the songs, when you pick them apart, don’t show much in the way of maturation.
  7. Nov 19, 2013
    37
    The result isn't the clean-up job it might've been; Bugg, 19, still sings with a nasal edge that wouldn't last more than a round on "American Idol." Yet the songwriting here feels more evened-out, less appealingly pugnacious than it did last time.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Dec 5, 2013
    10
    This album did not only blow away my expectations but will increase them for the next album. Jake Bugg expresses his song writing talents in each song on this album. His meaningful lyrics in songs such as Pine Trees and Kitchen Table show the real Bugg. Mr. Kennedy has done it again. Expand
  2. Nov 19, 2013
    9
    Jake Bugg might be young but he is a better musician than many other people claiming to be artists out there today. Following his much-praised debut efforts, "Shangri La" offers a collection of songs that make it really hard, at least for me, to believe this is delivered by a guy two years younger than me. "There’s a Beast and We All Feed It" is probably one of the most interesting indie rock/folk song I've ever heard for quite some times now. While I do feel like the album is slightly anticlimactic, I feel like the hype that has been surrounding the release was not exaggerated at all. Expand
  3. Nov 25, 2013
    9
    Fantastic follow up album from Jake Bugg, which I certainly wouldn't call a sophomore slump. While it certainly isn't the biggest leap forward in sound and subject matter, 'Shangri La' is still an extremely impressive album for someone so young, and who seems to still be finding his sound. Expand
  4. Nov 22, 2013
    8
    Great second outing for Jake Bugg. For me the same as the first album as in there are tunes that just grab you and tunes that are growers. I cant believe some of the negative stuff in reviews from so called critics harsh to say the least. "wouldn't last more than a round on "American Idol." If I was Mr Bugg Id take that as a solid compliment. Trash talent show fodder he aint. only negative I do agree with one of the other users Rubin doesn't do it for me. I do prefer less production on his tunes. Expand
  5. Nov 19, 2013
    7
    Boy am I a bit confused with Shangri La. Not to dismiss it as a sophomore creative slump; Shangri La sounds rushed, more like a collection of b-sides and rejects that didn't make the cut of his impressive debut. A major letdown considering Jake Bugg set the bar so high and this new release doesn't seem to fill half the expectations left by that Mercury Prize nominated album. From the reductive album cover to the overall too-glossy sound, Bugg treads the same musical ground but with no hit-ready material nor significant musical progression this time around. What's redeemingly evident here is Bugg's impressive songwriting that nonetheless will make him bound for pop greatness, and it just hasn't come to fruitation yet. Shangri La is still a solid album. Expand
  6. Nov 26, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Admittedly, I expected a great record. That was the least one would expect after hearing the first and eponymous Jake Bugg album. Actually, I was very surprised to learn that, just over a year later, he had enough to fill their second album, Shangri La, so called due to where it was recorded. Perhaps influenced by the producer, mr. Rick Rubin, the sound of Shangri La is different from the first album, something acceptable, since no assessment could be based on the difference in sound between two albums and changes are always interesting.
    The disc opens with the provocative "There's A Beast And We All Feed It". This is a brief introduction 1 minute and 43 seconds that contains the phrase "scared someone will tweet it", a clear reference to modern life. But the album begins in earnest with two singles [in reverse order of release], "Slumville Sunrise" and "What Does't Kill You" Rapid, forceful and succinct, they give the feeling that great songs come after and end up being a highlight of the disc. Both songs have great lyrics, and above all great choruses. Still speaking of these tracks, if in Jake Bugg the initial 4 themes were agitated and followed by three ballads, Shangri La begins with three agitated songs and a ballad: a reasonable "Me and You Yes, reasonable. And this is the problem: Me and You was not enough to overcome "Broken" or "Simple As This", the first significant decline from the first disc. Gets the feeling that something was missing, even though the legal letter. The work follows up his half with the great "Messed Up Kids" and "A Song About Love" The first one I liked best, tells the story of drug dealer Johnny and Jenny homeless girl showing the ability to Jake in storytelling, in this case probably referring to their land, Nottingham. The second is another interesting song where Jake says that only a song of love is not enough.
    But to my disappointment, the second half of the album opens with a weak song, "All Your Reasons", broken by the sound of guitars "Kingpin". But with all descends with Kitchen Table". Interestingly, the weak songs are the third and second longer. The acoustic "Pine Trees" I heard a few times until I reach the verdict. In it, Jake and guitar give the song that is closest to the previous album. I confess that hit a miss "Simple As This" and "Note To Self much as "Pine Trees" is not on the same level of those two of the album Jake Bugg. "Simple Pleasures" is similar to the previous significance, even though almost twice the length. Perhaps, therefore, sounded exhausting. "Storms Passes Away" and managed to finish an album that had everything to be amazing, but did not have the instant acceptance of your previous.
    I believe that Jake has confirmed its importance as a composer and vocalist while this was not enough to give your album debuts a continuation of the same or better quality. I gave to this an average of 7.5.
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  7. Jan 30, 2014
    5
    Shangri La is an average album done by an average "artist". With 12 tracks more of the same, he sings words and songs 'about love' with a winy nasal sound and a British accent that reminds the great Lee Mavers .The music sounds like : Arctic Monkeys, the La's and a bit of Ellioth Smith.
    Talking about songwriting, We can see that only 3 song was written by the young Bugg, these 3 songs show us that is he has grown both musically and lyrically but the other 9 were "co-wrote "with his partners Ian Archer and Brendan Benson (these people are usually songwriters that the label send when an artist needs help or when the artist just can't write enough song for the album, and co-written is just a good term to say that Ian wrote all of the songs)
    So Jake Bugg shows us with this album, his real nature. He is a mainstream artist disguised as a middle class worker hero new Bob Dylan, indie artist, real music protector,Johnny Cash wannabe of modern times.
    To see a true pure artist check out Laura Marling and hear the difference.
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See all 13 User Reviews