Jake Bugg is eighteen. His debut album recently came out and debuted at number one in the UK. Do not get it twisted. This is not the equivalent to Justin Bieber being number one in The States. Due to the sound of his music, voice and lyrical phrasing, comparisons to Bob Dylan have been inevitable. However, he’s not as familiar or obsessed with Dylan as one might think – “I know his first album and the famous tracks, like Subterranean Homesick Blues, but not much” (www.musicblogs.co.uk).
You will also hear elements of the Arctic Monkeys, fellow Dylan-soundalike Pete Molinari, and Buddy Holly. Bugg has heard acclaim from an idol of his, Noel Gallagher, and has toured with the ex-Oasis frontman. He’s got his influences and soundalikes and that troubadour cadence, yet Jake Bugg conveys authenticity and is quite a songwriter for a late-teen…or any age.
Chances, people tell you not to take chances / And they tell you that there aren’t any answers / And I was starting to agree / But I woke suddenly / In the path of a lightning bolt / Fortune, people talking all about fortune / Do you make it or does it just call you / In the blinking of an eye / Just another passer-by in the path of a lightning bolt (track one, Lightning Bolt).
Bugg denied the request by his classmates to go on Britain’s Got Talent – “I would never have done that because it doesn’t seem genuine, it doesn’t seem natural” (The Observer). It appears his ambitions lie for more than fifteen minutes. His debut album suggests he will be a name atop the charts and in music-snob conversations across the globe for years to come.
– Garrett D. Kennedy
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