Growing up on record is a tricky business. The scallyish teenage bluesman who featured on Jake Bugg’s 2012 debut is gone but on his third record Bugg still seems unsure how to replace him. The result is an awkward shouldering of styles and personas in search of one that fits. Never Wanna Dance makes a bid for mature Bacharach-tinged pop but ends up sounding more like Simply Red. Ain’t No Rhyme is an ill-advised stab at Midlands-accented rock rap. Bugg sounds happiest when harking back to his original strengths. Hold On You is a stripped-down bluesy strut that finds Bugg firmly back into his comfort zone.
Jake Bugg: On My One – growing pains
Ally Carnwath writes on Africa and music for the Guardian and Observer