The word overrated is overrated
Most say it. Some think it. And it bugs me. It Jake Buggâs me.
Oh Iâm so puny, I wonder if anyone has used that yet. Snore.
So Jake Bugg secured a number 1 album the other week. Good on him I say. The tune âTwo Fingersâ contains lyrics that are rather realistic compared to the common dancefloor/love/clubbing clobber that dominates the charts in this present dark age. And the album itself, is pretty damn good as well. Itâs not the best thing Iâve ever heard, but itâs certainly fresh. And at the mere embryonic age of 18, it triggers more positivity to this guy; if thatâs what quality he can write and sing about now, the mind starts to wander on what future concoctions are in his brain.
But what disappointed me after he secured the number 1 album was some of the reaction I read thereafter on my twitter feed. Yes, there was a lot of really positive tweets about it and really, I should be praising them. But instead I got a little bit riled when I noticed the odd tweet saying things like âJake Bugg â oh man heâs overrated.â Or âThereâs so many solo artists out there, what makes this guy so special?â
Itâs frustrating to see. Iâm not giving you ultimatums like Jake Bugg or die. Far from it. However, what does disappoint me is the negativity that seems to swarm on even moderate success.
Itâs the first new and pure piece of British guitar music to top the UK album chart in recent memory. Before he got the crown, you would have struggled to find a negative tweet. My twitter and facebook feed was dominated by nice messages, people encouraging their friends to buy it. I think a lot of people may â just may â have started believing in guitar music again.
Iâd like to hear what peopleâs reasons are for saying Mr Bugg is overrated. In actual fact, Iâd like to answer them before I even get told them.
Numero uno â Yeah, he got a number one album. It sold 35,000 or so copies in that week. But how many people are there in the UK? A quick check of Wikipedia (sorry) tells me that thereâs 62 million. A few quick and rough calculations tell me thatâs about 1 in 1700 people bought Mr Buggâs album in the first week.
A certain solo acoustic guitarist who goes by the name of Ed Sheeran or Ron as I like to call him, sold 102,000 copies in first week UK sales. Am I saying Ron is overrated? No. I hate the word. Iâm saying that something about his music made over a 100,000 people buy his album in one week. And the music isnât dramatically dissimilar from Jakeâs. Am I fan of Sheeranâs music? Not really, but I do respect the guy after an interview I read with him with Alex Petridis in the Guardian a while back. \
Ok Iâll try to keep the statistics on the minimal side from now.
Numero dos – He wasnât even on this yearâs BBC Sound list. So Radio 1 didnât playlist him from January the 1st this year. A list which Michael Kiwanuka topped. I think âTwo Fingersâ is the first of Buggâs song to get playlisted in actual fact. A glance at Wikipedia again and âTwo Fingersâ is the first of Buggâs song to break the singles charts at number 33, with it now being at 28. All of his 4 other singles didnât break the top 40. If you look at the top 40 right now (go on I dare you), youâll see itâs a list of pop tracks, X Factor artists, people whoâve performed that track on X Factor, weird Korean YouTube sensations andâ¦erâ¦Mumford & Sons. Itâs the most guitar-ish itâs been for a while.
But âTwo Fingersâ is a simple song, hence why itâs made the top 30 now. The lyrics are loud and clear, some of which you can possibly relate to (or donât, I donât mind), but most of which you can sing along to. Check his earlier release âLightning Boltâ, itâs not as simple. The melody is more folky and has more complexities to it.
And Numero tres (because Iâm tired of speaking Spanish) â That opening week were he got the number 1 album. He beat X Factorâs Leona Lewis by a couple of thousand copies. He beat everyoneâs favourite rogue plumbers Mumford & Sons by a bit more. These are pretty credible artists in terms of success, surely? Love Leona or hate her she did sell a fair few albums last time round with âEchoâ. And Mumfordâs album âBabelâ has been out for a weeks now so that doesnât have much influence on my point so Iâm going to stop taking the mick now. But thanks for fixing my boiler.
So come on you cretins who feel if you canât get on board with the first bit of pure guitar music in the charts for some time so instead choose to moan, groan and bemoan the success of an 18 year old and spit out statements of how someone is overrated. Your statements are meaningless. Fair enough, donât like the record if you donât want to. Thatâs the beauty of music. You can choose to like it â or you can choose not to. But if you donât. Keep it to yourself and let people make their own mind up. Or go and listen to One Directionâs album. I hear thatâs very underrated.
Chris PJ Martin