Only a year after the release of his self-titled debut effort, Jake Bugg offers his second album titled ‘Shangri La’, which sees the budding musician once again indulging in his incredible natural talent of song-writing. On his latest album, Jake Bugg offers up a delightful selection of new tracks, some of which seem to branch off a little bit more than what was on the musician’s first album effort. The overall effect of the album is one that simply delights in the more simplistic elements of song-writing, the main technique being ‘less-is-more’. There is perhaps an element on ‘Shangri La’ that Jake Bugg hasn’t pushed himself much (if at all) from his debut effort, which makes the album a bit pointless to some extent.
It’s apparent on both the debut album ‘Jake Bugg’ and the latest release of ‘Shangri La’ that there is a lot of talent coming from Jake Bugg. It’s as though song-writing comes naturally to him, as though he automatically knows how to write a good song that is catchy, listenable and interesting all in one. A lot of songs on ‘Shangri La’ just exude fun and enjoyment, where all the elements of enjoyable music come through. Most of the elements in each song seems to work well, including the alternative-rock style of the instrumentals, to the Dylan-esque vocal style of Jake Bugg’s. All in all, it all comes together nicely to at least make ‘Shangri La’ a good follow-up to ‘Jake Bugg’.
The problem with ‘Shangri La’ is that it just doesn’t seem to be that much better or interesting than ‘Jake Bugg’. It’s as though Bugg has opted to just write a new record of material with better production values, rather than push himself as a musician and song-writer to write an album that is better than his debut effort. In some ways, ‘Shangri La’ is essentially Jake-Bugg-2, rather than a true second album. Considering how much talent there is in this song-writer, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to at least expect some element of the musician pushing himself to produce some great new material, rather than rehashing himself without producing anything new.
As enjoyable as ‘Shangri La’ is, it doesn’t seem to be a truly impressive album. There’s technically nothing wrong with the album, which at least continues the streak of enjoyable and well-written music that Jake Bugg has produced thus far in his career. It just would have been preferable to see the song-writer really push himself and produce a really great follow-up to ‘Jake Bugg’. At the moment, ‘Shangri La’ is an acceptable album that is all well and good, but has the added danger of suggesting that Jake Bugg is perhaps a one-trick pony, who doesn’t really have a great deal to offer.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Slumville Sunrise
- A Song About Love
- All Your Reasons
- Simple Pleasures
Jake Bugg’s second studio album ‘Shangri La’ is out now.