Nov 15, 2013If 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.
Dec 5, 2013This 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
Nov 19, 2013Jake 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
Nov 25, 2013Fantastic 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
Nov 26, 2013This 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.… Expand
Nov 19, 2013Boy 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
Mar 2, 2014It is undeniable that Jake Bugg is a talented chap, first album at the tender age of 18, support slots with Noel Gallagher, festival appearances and some terrific music to boot. It just seems a shame that the follow-up to his great debut seems rushed, unpolished and frankly sinking in throwaways.
That's not to say though that the album doesn't have it's highlights, such as the rousing opener "There's A Beast And We All Feed It", despite the obvious similarities to "Go Go Go (Down The Line)" by Roy Orbison. It is a fun song that moves like a freight train and sneaks in some cheeky lyrics about keying cars and Twitter, one of the first and only times I've found such a reference to be anything less than irritating. However, it is from there that we slump into obvious attempts "to do something different", and Bugg's nasally tone stands to far from the instruments on both "What Doesn't Kill You" and "Slumville Sunrise" which creates a near unbearable sound. "Me And You" is a mere rehash of "Simple As This" from the first album and it becomes difficult to find a highlight from the rest of the album. The other single "A Song About Love" is as close as it gets and again Bugg's vocal is out of place.
Partially to blame, Rubin's production is quite simply off and places the whiny vocals too far from the instrument mix to create a cohesive sound, while Bugg's songwriting seems rushed and lazy. The album is decent and worth a listen but you won't rush back to it in a hurry and certainly won't put it on the same shelf as the debut.… Expand
Jan 30, 2014Shangri 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.… Expand
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