on 21 October 2012
48 years old and thought I'd heard it all until I walked through HMV and they were playing what I later knew to be 'two fingers' - liked it so much I wanted to ask them to play it again but left it until I got home and my daughter had Spotify playing and she asked me how old I thought the singer was - well he sounded like Bob Dylan but held a better note so I suggested 30's - turned out to be another track from Jake Bugg's debut album and, wow, what a revelation; obviously very derivative (as everything is when you think about it) but it turns out he's 18 and from a Nottingham council estate (apparently) and manages to sound like a mix of Dylan, Noel Gallagher, Simon Garfunkel, Lonnie Donegan and even a little bit of Johnny Cash.... writes his own songs....and every one of them is a killer....simple tales beautifully and clearly told with old school musical backdrops (and I mean old school - late 50's and 60's) - buy this, turn the volume up loud, sit back and smile - music lives and not with Simon Cowell, thank God. Well done lad - just keep your feet on the ground and remember those 2 fingers when the devil/devils come calling....
on 18 October 2012
I'm 42, old enough to be this kid's dad, from Nottingham, too, and I just find this the most magnificently honest and refreshing album I've heard in years. For once, it's time to believe the hype. Please buy it, and water cannon the X-Factor/manufactured pap from the charts, the fella deserves every penny. I initially downloaded this illegally, but it was so good, I felt guilty and came here and bought it. I just want him to have a pint in his pocket from me. Gawd knows how he's got so much soul at this age. A rare talent, and I'm just really proud he's from my town. I've been moaning for years there was no real talent to ever come out of Notts (do Black Lace count?) but now our saviour has arisen in the form of Bugg.
Good luck, youth, he's proper mint, me ducks!
I notice previous reviewers confessing to ages of 48 and 42 - well, I'm 65 and Jake Bugg has rocketed straight into my top 10 all time favourite singers. What is it about the age profile of his fans 48/42/65 ??!! Is he getting the young music lovers too - I presume so; I certainly hope so. He must be!!
I first saw Jake Bugg singing "Broken" on the Graham Norton show earlier this year and was mesmerised, stunned. After that I didn't see, hear or think of him again until a couple of weeks ago when I saw him singing "Song About Love" (from his upcoming 2nd album) on Jools Holland. Again, I was amazed at how powerful he was. So I decided to look further and did some research on You Tube where there are several different recordings of "Broken" and one of "Country Song" and some others - all of which are wonderful. There is one particular video on "VEVO" of him singing "Broken" in an American bar / restaurant, obviously a fully staged and choreographed video, but it is still extraordinarily moving. I urge anyone who hasn't already seen it to look at it as soon as possible.
So, is he good? Well, obviously I think so. The only other two times I remember being so instantly transfixed on hearing an artist for the first time was when I heard Janis Ian singing "Jesse" and "At Seventeen" on the Shirley Bassey TV show in 1976 (I told you I was 65!!) and then the first time I heard Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" around the same time - ahhh, the 70's was a pretty good decade for music! Of course there have been many more wonderful artists since then, and before, but those two moments were special for me, and hearing Jake Bugg singing "Broken" and "Country Song" for the first time were equally thunderbolt moments.
So, I bought the CD which arrived from Amazon 3 days ago and is now playing all the time, and I mean all the time: in the house, on the computer, on my iPod and on the car stereo. My wife loves him too and she is very serious about her music. And I agree with other reviewers, a lot of this is derivative, but as someone else said, who isn't? and who cares? He is superb. Full stop. And he is only 19!!!! My God! - he wrote "Country Song" when he was 16 !!!!! We are witnessing the start of someone who will be as famous and as important to music as Dylan, and he is just as talented.
There is a persistent radio advert for this album which I have to admit was beginning to grate on me. Jumping as it does between 4 different tracks I was just left with the impression that the songs were good but the voice was a bit weedy. Having now listened to the album a couple of times I am glad to report that my first impressions were wrong, this is a serious talent with some excellent songs. The first thing to congratulate the young man for doing, and I don't mean to be patronising here, is that he hasn't gone down the X factor route but stuck to his guns performing his own stuff with aplomb. Hints of Beach Boys in the excellent "Two Fingers" mix with the Woody Guthrie meets the Arctic Monkeys of "Lightning Bolt" and "Taste it". Slower tracks include "Country Song" and "Someone told me" where Bugg's self proclaimed Dylan influences are apparent and the closing "Fire" is recorded all crackly and echoey, surely a direct nod to Woody Guthrie. I can't help thinking that a potential major international talent has been unearthed here and as long as he avoids the potential pitfalls inherent in this process he can only go from strength to strength. One for now and definitely one for the future.
on 1 November 2012
This album is garnering loads of rave reviews , apparently appealing to both younger fans, and more seasoned music lovers like myself, so he must be doing something special to appeal to such a wide audience . He is definitely a raw young talent, hailing from a deprived estate on the outskirts of Nottingham. Some of his songs are in the vein of angry young man, with a wry social commentary on the background that he comes from, such as his Singles, Two Fingers,and Lightning Bolt, where the recording is crude and the feel live, and it reminds me of early Billy Bragg. Trouble Town references being stuck in "speed bump city, when the only thing that's pretty is the thought of gettin' out".
There are 14 tracks, most around the 3 minute mark, a couple significantly shorter. His voice at times has distinct echoes of early Bob Dylan on some tracks with a rather nasal quality. A number of the songs are more abstract, like a classic 60's singer songwriter, some with finger picking guitar, others with more skiffle like strumming, and lyrics that are more general love songs. Seen It All has more than a passing nod to Liam Gallagher's vocal style, being more strident, while for me other songs are reminiscent of early Paul Simon. You can play spot the influence, but the songs are not derivative, he has put his own distinct stamp on the whole proceeding. Note to Self has some tasteful strings, Country Song is short and sweet, while closer Fire could be an acoustic blues song.
What a stunning debut album from an 18 year old, it will be fascinating to see how he develops, he shows so much potential, lets hope he continues to evolve in interesting ways. He has already been touring in support of big names internationally, so his horizons and experience will have been significantly widened from his provincial city deprived estate origins, so plenty of new stimulation for him to reflect on.
Definitely one of the most exciting albums of this year, a real breath of fresh air, a visceral young talent to be watched, I wonder what he will do next.
on 14 November 2012
Heard "Two fingers" playing every now & again on the radio & liked the catchy tune so checked out the rest of his stuff online & bought the album straight away.
Cannot believe this guy is only 18! Also, very impressed that all the songs on the album are so diverse & he carries them all off brilliantly. Again - I just cannot get over that he is only 18!!! Buy it!
I've been hearing a lot of this fellow on 6 Music recently. Tracks from this album have had a lot of air play, and deservedly so. To my ears he is definitely one of the more interesting artists to have emerged in the last year or so. Admittedly, when I heard him being interviewed a little while ago he seemed a bit smug, but he's got a lot to be smug about, so it's forgivable.
This is a cracking first album. The songs are written, played and sung with a degree of maturity and depth that you just don't expect when you see his impossibly young looking face on the cover. Hard to pin down a style, there are hints of Americana, blues, folk, rock and others to be heard here. Like a precocious teenager it has mood swings from the upbeat to melancholy. It's a great album, 5 stars.
on 17 November 2012
This is a very talented young musician with a fresh approach and a hint of country undertones. A relaxing listen to something unique that is clean and original in the midst of wannabe overkillers. There is no replacement for talent. Highly recommended if you have taste.
on 7 March 2013
I like the Arctic Monkeys, I like Lead Belly, I like Dean Martin!
Who cares who his influences are - or that he hails from Nottingham - this lad can write songs, play a guitar and sing from the heart.
Good stuff - look forward to his next album...
on 21 February 2015
I lost count of the number of times when I was younger that I was told to turn my "racket" down with my Dad bemoaning the fact that they don't make music like they used to. Suddenly, however, I find myself tempted to give him a copy of Jake Bugg's debut CD as a present. On the tag, I'll write "See, Dad, they DO make music like they used to!"
This is a very short album at only 39 minutes over 14 tracks, but it still provides decent value for money because there's no way you can listen to it just once. There are some great moments here and whilst there are some tracks where the mood drops and the quality seems to go with it, generally this is an upbeat and enjoyable album. Very few albums are perfect, but this is a superb effort considering it's a debut from a teenager from Nottingham. A little more life experience and a little more practice and Jake Bugg can only improve. My only concern would be that when you've hit the top of the UK album charts with your first release without even trying, where do you go that betters that and will the pressure of trying be too much? I await Jake Bugg's second album with interest, but I'll be playing this first one a lot more between now and then.
This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk