Music Review: Jake Bugg's debut hits high notes

Associated Press
This CD cover image released by Mercury shows the self-titled release for Jake Bugg. (AP Photo/Mercury)
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This CD cover image released by Mercury shows the self-titled release for Jake Bugg. (AP Photo/Mercu …

Jake Bugg, "Jake Bugg" (Mercury Records)

Jake Bugg's unique discerning tone, with intelligent songwriting, makes it hard to believe this English musician is only 19.

Bugg's lyrics are wise beyond his years, and most of the songs on his 14-track, self-titled debut average out under three minutes. He keeps them short, sweet and to the point.

The album was released in Europe last year to critical and commercial success. It has an indie alternative sound jelled with moments of rock 'n' roll. At times Bugg, a Brit Award nominee, echoes Bob Dylan, one of his musical influences.

"Lightning Bolt" is a witty jaunt, while "Simple as This" is an epic country love song. "Seen It All" is a sad tale about a night out gone wrong, and "Note to Self" is heartwarming.

"Two Fingers" is a singalong anthem with lyrics like, "So I hold two fingers up to yesterday, light a cigarette and smoke it all away."

It's clever. It's all very clever.

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