On My One
June 17 2016 (Virgin EMI)
Words: Alison Mack
The third album from Nottingham's Bugg, 'On My One', finds the man striking out and taking charge of this largely self-produced work. Which is all well and good, if it weren't for what the 22-year-old has come up with veers across the soundboard like a careering car out of control.
There's the rockabilly thumper 'Put Out The Fire', the rocker 'Gimme The Love' - where he perhaps, ill-advisedly, tries his tonsils at rapping, which is even more cringeworthy on the hip-hop of 'Ain’t No Rhyme'; while 'Never Wanna Dance' is left to deliver blue-eyed soul, there's country style on 'Livin’ Up Country', while the title track itself is a primal world-weary blues shuffle. Only perhaps the soaring power ballad ‘Love, Hope And Misery’ offers any real authenticity.
'On My One' is all a bit of a hit-and-miss mix-up, that one has to question whether it is the absence of the professional songwriters that took charge on his first two albums - even though the last effort, 2013’s ‘Shangri La’, didn't really quite cut the mustard - is where the problem lies?