Jake Bugg released his second album earlier this month, and I have one word to describe it: fantastic. While there was a taste of rock in his debut album, Shangri La shows more of his punkier style. Maybe it’s just because this album was collaboration between him and Rick Rubin, or maybe this is what he’s leaning towards career wise. Either way, he nailed it. He still managed to maintain his roots with Bob Dylan and Oasis, and he pulled off a different kind of album from his previous one. The first three tracks are more rock, complete with heavy guitar riffs. “Me and You” is something straight out of a country album and shows his innocence. It more or less reminds you of the fact that he is only a 19 year-old, a pretty crazy talented 19 year-old at that. “Messed up Kids” changes back into his rockier style, while the next two songs are an exact follow-up from his debut album. “Kingpin” and “Kitchen Table” contain an unfamiliar twang that fans will surely enjoy. “Pine Trees”, a kind of contemplation song, truly shows a deeper side, especially with these lines:
"I try not to visualize other people's eyes
and they're compromising ways
And as I leave them far behind
I try to hide the route of my escape
You can sit in the pine tress
You can sit at home,
You can breath a sigh of silence in the woods".
The song is almost comparable to the unforgettable track “Broken”, on his debut album. “Simple Pleasures” and “Storm Passes Away” give off some country vibes that only Bugg could pull off. Shangri La may not have the same amount of slow songs that his previous album had, but it delves deeper into his sound. After listening to his first album and seeing him in concert two months ago, I couldn’t believe someone his age was performing and writing the music that I had heard. This album just confirmed how great of a musician he is (there’s a reason that I’m seeing him again in January). Take a listen to his new album, it’s worth it!