A year ago this English singer-songwriter was largely unknown in the U.S. despite the fact that his self-titled debut had entered the British chart at No. 1. Today
The result isn't the clean-up job it might've been; Bugg, 19, still sings with a nasal edge that wouldn't last more than a round on "American Idol." Yet the songwriting here feels more evened-out, less appealingly pugnacious than it did last time, when he was using old-fashioned early rock grooves to blast the phonies all around him.
One exception is the album's rollicking opener, "There's a Beast and We All Feed It," about playing nice to get ahead. But even there he's kind of guilty of doing the same thing. "I'm not a finger pointer," Bugg sings, "I will not cry your name." Come on, Jake — somebody's gotta do it.
One and a half stars (out of four)