Jake Bugg is one of the most exciting artists in music at the moment. The simple, folksy songs that feature on his eponymous debut album are ridiculously stunning and catchy in a way that never borders on over-saturation. In addition to his uncomfortable, yet controlled Dylan-esque voice, there’s this raw authenticity to his music that is rather endearing and captivating. Smack dab in the center of Jake Bugg, in a sea of rousing upbeat stompers and simple acoustic ballads comes “Broken,” the record’s clear pinnacle. The track is the album’s clear anomaly, being the longest song by a solid minute with an intricate arrangement that bears a stark contrast to its album-mates. The poignant ballad starts simply, but builds and builds before launching into a soaring refrain that is guaranteed to induce tears and awaken every hair on the back of your neck. Last month, Jake Bugg took the track to another level when he released a re-recorded version of the song, this time produced by the one and only Rick Rubin. As you can imagine, “Broken” was taken to an entirely new level with the addition of heightened percussion, and, oh yeah, a gospel choir. Whether or not it’s actually better than the original recording is a debate still to be had, but both versions are definitely worth giving a listen.

ALBUM VERSION:

RICK RUBIN VERSION: