Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg (Mercury)

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Jake Bugg: Simple as This
Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg (Mercury)

Released around the time people were collating their "best of 2012" lists (see here and here), this excellent album probably went past most people.

A precocious talent, 18-year old Bugg from Nottingham has already drawn praise from Noel Gallagher (who probably hears how great Oasis might have been if he'd been a better lyricist) but reference points beyond Oasis might say that on a song like Seen It All (a diary of pill popping and party crashing) Bugg comes off like an observational Ray Davies of his young generation.

He -- and his co-writer/guitarist Ian Archer -- also crafts power pop melodies (Two Fingers), has more than enough hints of acoustic folk-rock Donovan/Dylan of the mid Sixties (the delightful Simple As This and Country Song), and he's an astute observer of street life as he sings authentically about skinning up, broken love, getting out of the towerblock city (the bluesy Trouble Town), social politics (the coffee-bar blues of Ballad of Mr Jones) . . .

Not everything across these 14 tracks is forged in the fire of his preternatural gifts (Slide especially sounds undernourished), but this album topped the British charts. As it deserved to.

Has done nothing in New Zealand so far . . . but maybe once the Christmas purachases are out of the way . . .?

Too good to ignore.

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