Top positive review
His radiance runs deep in my colour scheme
on 17 February 2016
I'm a massive fan of Jake's music; as well as owning both his albums, I love to look up demos and live performances on Youtube. I wish he'd include some of those tracks on an album someday!!
Shangri-la is different to the first album; it definitely sounds smoother, and Jake's getting into his stride as a singer and sounding more confident - but don't worry, he still had that jarring touch of worldly innocence to his lyrics, and that raw edge to his gorgeous voice.
So, the big question - is it better than the first album? That's hard to answer, because I do feel that his two best songs ever are on the first album (Fire and Simple as This) and nothing on this album has taken their crown. However, *overall*, yes, I do feel it's better. It's more mature and you can feel him growing as an artist. There's more cohesion between tracks, they flow better, and unlike the first album there's not a single track I skip.
'Messed up Kids', 'Song About Love', 'Me and You' are the hard-hitting blockbuster trio in the middle of the album, arguably the strongest tracks, and it tails off with the cheerfully bluesy, country-fied 'Storm Passes Away'. Jake does country so well - I want to hear him cover a John Denver song!
I find myself breathless waiting for his next album. I boggle at this young man's talent, and drive, and as long as he remains consistent I will buy anything he puts out. His voice is mesmerising and I could listen to him sing the phone book! One of my favourite albums, well-worn from use. Can't recommend happily enough.