Jake Bugg's 'Shangri La' - What You Need To Know'
Indie wunderkind Jake Bugg doesn’t mess about does he? Only just over a year on from the release of his self-titled debut album, he’s back again with the follow-up Shangri La. Here’s what you need to know about the 19-year old singer’s second record:
What’s The Background?
Things couldn’t really have gone better for Bugg over the last 18 months. His debut album has sold over 450,000 copies; he toured the world, playing bigger and bigger venues as he went and he became one of biggest acts at all last summer’s festivals, with stellar sets at Glastonbury and Reading among them.
Given his debut album yielded a full seven singles, it’s impressive that Bugg has found enough time to write enough material for a second album. But he has and it’s out on Monday (November 18).
Who’s at the controls?
On his first album, Bugg worked with a series of producers including former Snow Patrol man Iain Archer, ex-Longpigs man Crispin Hunt and Mike Crossley, who most recently produced the debut album from The 1975.
For Shangri La, Bugg has turned to king of producers, Mr Rick Rubin. Rubin’s CV is as long and as varied as it’s possible to be, with credits ranging from Beastie Boys and Public Enemy to Black Sabbath and Slipknot.
Are there big name collaborators?
Not really, well aside from Rubin. Bugg has once again been writing with Iain Archer as well as The Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson. There are certainly no duets in sight, but it does feature drums from Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Chad Smith, who did his old friend Rubin a favour and hopped onto the drum stool.
Is he still writing about being skint and on a council estate?
Kind of. Bugg has said in interviews that while obviously he’s not in the same place where he wrote the gritty lyrics that formed the centrepiece of his debut, but he still feels like he can comment on that life, but from the outside looking in, especially on cuts like ‘Messed Up Kids’, which features the lyric ''Kids are on the corner with no money, they sell their drugs and body. Everywhere I see a sea of empty pockets''.
So does it deliver?
Mostly. This album doesn’t have the same rawness and grimy realism that Bugg’s debut had, but a lot of that is down to Rubin’s production which gives the record a bit more of a sheen.
There are some big tunes on here, but Bugg’s clearly decided that his mantra should be ‘If I ain’t broke, then don’t go and change your sound because it worked last time’. If you’re hoping for a progression you might be left cold, if you were looking for more of the same, you’ll be in dreamland.