Bugg's follow-up fails to ignite
Over-praised for his debut, the truth is surely now out about Jake Bugg: this young Englishman is a desperately ordinary songsmith, as Shangri-La makes painfully clear.
Messed-Up Kids probably aspires to the social commentary of Arctic Monkeys, but Bugg has none of Alex Turner's remarkable way with words. What Doesn't Kill You, meanwhile, sounds like third-rate Oasis -- why is this singer trying to ape the vocal delivery of Liam Gallagher?
He's on far surer ground with the goofy, but charming, love song Me and You, which plays to his strengths, and there are some nice moments in which his Chuck Berry-fixation pays dividends.
Still, it's something of a major disappointment that renowned producer Rick Rubin hasn't helped his young charge deliver a more essential album than this retro-obsessed hotch-potch.
Me and You