Review: Jake Bugg - Shangri La (November 18, 2013)

My wife and I both became instant fans the first time we heard Jake's music about a year ago now, and we just caught him live in Vancouver back in September. We've both been looking really forward to Shangri La, and neither of us were disappointed with this album whatsoever. Two singles from Shangri La were available early; a demo of "What Doesn't Kill You" was released in September (days before we saw him live), and "Slumville Sunrise" in October. We were fortunate enough to hear both songs live before the album was released, as well as "A Song About Love." It was interesting to hear the version of "What Doesn't Kill You" on the album, as much less of Jake's Nottingham accent comes through on Shangri La. Much like his self-titled release of 2012, Shangri La is a record I have no trouble listening to all the way through without skipping any tracks. This record also has a bit more of an upbeat feel to it than last year's debut, with a few more rock songs and a bit faster tempo. The name from this album comes from Rick Rubin's studio in Malibu CA where this was recorded over the summer of 2013. A funny thing to note too, this record wasn't supposed to be released in North America until January 2014 (much the same as the debut record coming out in North America months after the initial release in the UK), but when his most recent tour sold out so fast, Island Records decided to push the release back to November 19 2013, one day after the UK release by Mercury Records. Way to go Jake! I hope this kid has years and years of music up his sleeves yet, because this is the kind of stuff I don't see myself ever getting sick of. I'm sure glad my wife and I got to see him live for $15 while we could!!! Go out and get this album today, it's a real gem.


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