Album Review: Jake Bugg - Shangri La

JAKEBUGG-SHANGRI-LA-1500x1500-300dpi-RGB-packshotShangri La • Jake Bugg • Mercury Records • Producer: Rick Rubin • Score: 7 out of 10

Produced to perfection is a bore, and Jake Bugg's sophomore album is surely polished to a fine sheen at the Malibu studio that shares the record's name. Still, the stinging nasal tone of Bugg's vocals pack a punch paired with lyrical and melodic vivacity in Arctic Monkeys-like British pop freneticism slowed down with several early '60s-esque street ballads. Most all are about Bugg's old haunts and habits in his native Nottingham and his gladness at being far from it a year after his UK chart-topping debut as summed up in "Slumville Sunrise": "This place is just not for me."

-Jessica Pace