On 20th August 2021 Jake Bugg released his fifth album. This record, whilst keeping his core sound, embraces pop more deeply than before. The 11-track, 36-minute record contains songs for both Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (the name of the album taken from Nottingham native Alan Sillitoe’s 1958 debut novel), with those fitting the former interspersed with those fitting the latter.
Starting with All I Need, the album grabs you from the get-go. This is one of those songs that makes you want to move. The added backing vocals give extra depth to the sound and is a great way to kick off an album. Followed by Kiss Like The Sun, a more typical Jake Bugg sound, about a misunderstanding following a one-night-stand. Well written, catchy with some awesome blues guitar, it fits well and is an interesting modern song with a retro sound to it.
About Last Night takes things down a little, with a song about jealousy. Well written and with a catchy chorus, this is one of many songs on the album which get stuck in your head. Downtown is of a similar style – slow, with piano/keys and the line “you’ll never be alone” reverberating around your head long after it’s finished.
Next up is Rabbit Hole, a completely different type of song. About a night out, taking drugs, and the effects. With a great backing track, it’s another one that’s hard to sit still and listen to. Lost is up next, another dance-like number.
The mood changes to a more thoughtful one with Scene – a song about a break-up and the protagonist’s partner behaving in a way that is unexpected. It’s a nice tune, the lyrics are good, and the slide guitar about two-thirds through alone is worth listening to the whole track. Another song on this album that sticks with you.
Back to the faster tracks with Lonely Hours. A great sing-along song, and will sound brilliant when played live – the guitar solo especially.
Maybe It’s Today channels the sixties. The backing track has something of Leader of the Pack/Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? about it. A good one to sing along to, it fits the record’s mix of retro and modern sounds brilliantly.
With the penultimate song, Screaming, we’re brought back to the faster, dancier numbers. The musicianship on this, like the rest of the album, is great. Another song that likely to give you an earworm, and find you bouncing around in the crowd at a gig.
Last up is Hold Tight, finishing the album on a slower, more considered note. The mixture of Jake’s voice and the acoustic guitar is a nice way to end, and the slide guitar is once again a great addition. It’s one of those songs you will want to learn all the words to, just so you can sing along.
All in all, this is a great record. If you are new to Jake Bugg, and prefer your music a little more modern, this may be a good starting point for you. There isn’t a bad song, and there’s something for everyone (within reason, of course).
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is out now on RCA Records.