Jeff Buckley is the son of the legendary Rock artist Tim Buckley. Sadly, much like his father, he died too early (joining the infamous 27 club in 1997) and left a back catalogue that is quintessential music to explore. This is his only main album before his sad death under unusual circumstances. The album itself should be a good listen, classified as a must-hear for those who love the artistry of singer-songwriters and guitar-based music in general. Jeff Buckley described that the album title and the album itself was meant to convey different emotions in every life situation, quite a profound statement in itself. Without further hesitation, let’s take a listen to this album, now considered a classic of its time.
We launch into the album with Mojo Pin which begins with some guitar harmonics and interesting melodic guitar playing, with Jeff Buckley singing wordless harmonies. It certainly sounds very exciting and inspired. Before long, this song calmly launches into a song to hear first thing in the morning. Shortly into it, drums begin playing and Jeff Buckley sings beautifully over it all. This is instantly wonderful and attention-grabbing, and he does impress nicely on this opening song. His voice is so beautiful that one thinks he may have been reincarnated from a professional Opera singer in a way. It has some brilliant snatches of melodic playing, although Jeff Buckley’s singing is at the front and centre of it all. In the second half, there is an instrumental series of crashes with Jeff Buckley singing beautifully and anthemically. The lyrics here are just as good as the music, and this is a really impressive and artistically motivated listen. Great tune, it ends with a bunch of whirlwinds of furiously fast drumming, before concluding with a sustained guitar note. Brilliant effort.
Following is the title track Grace which has some gorgeous and clean Fender style guitar parts in the intro, before launching straight into a straightforward piece of Rock music that sounds like it deeply inspired Radiohead, which it likely did. The pounding rhythms of drums, melodic guitar playing and gorgeous singing by Jeff Buckley here are really sensational. The song itself has a nice bunch of layering with electric and acoustic guitar, which is very welcome. Singing about love and the emotions involved with it, Jeff Buckley did drama and melody better than most out there. A really decent and powerful listen without having a Grunge attitude of the time, Jeff Buckley sounds very natural at singing, guitar and song craftsmanship. The second half has some interesting instrumentation and some beautiful singing by our main man. He sings in a very Soul music inspired sort of way and puts in some terrifically loud vocals towards the end. Very impressive, not many vocalists have the range and pitch that Jeff Buckley did. The song ends abruptly after five minutes, a really good effort.
Last Goodbye begins with some interesting slide guitar playing in the right channel, followed by some deep bass playing. A drum hit follows, and we are underway. Some excellent electric guitar and acoustic guitar playing mesh together nicely. This song is about breaking up with a lover, obviously not happy territory to listen to. There is some beautiful violin throughout, and this song is very relatable for those unable to stop loving a person in their life. A very unique and also beautiful piece of music, this sounds gorgeous, fulfilling and unique. Jeff Buckley sings some wonderful harmonies on this song, before returning to describe in one of the most beautiful male vocals ever the situation at hand. It sounds optimistic musically, but it is really not. A really nice song for when the mood strikes, it ends with some loose harmonies and clanging piano. Nice effort.
Lilac Wine begins with some clean electric guitar and some quiet singing from Jeff Buckley. He sounds very Nick Drake here in his singing on this song, but just as good musically and artistically. It is a song about how drowning one’s sorrows brings one back to memories of the past, which is an interesting concept nonetheless. This piece shines very brightly musically, although it is about missing a lover from long ago. A very gentle and reassuring sound of listening experience regardless, this sounds deeply moving and wonderful. Jeff Buckley’s singing in particular is from a very deep place. Questioning whether or not one should be in love, this does sound strikingly amazing. The song ends with a gentle climax, before concluding. Nice stuff dude.
Following up is So Real which begins with some quiet electric guitar riffing, before going into a very special and beautiful song. This is sung from the heart and steamrolls any critics with the excellence of the songs and Jeff Buckley’s unique voice. The songs here are amazing, and this is one clear example of Jeff Buckley’s visionary songwriting. This is a song about dreams/nightmares having the potentiality to be real. There is a rather heavy and odd-sounding part in the midsection which concludes abruptly, with Jeff Buckley repeatedly singing: “I love you”. The dream seems real, but what is more real is this great song. It reaches a dramatic and passionate climax with a great mixture of singing and Rock band playing, before finishing up. Jeff Buckley was amazing, no question about it.
The standout track from this album is Hallelujah, which is actually a Leonard Cohen original that Jeff Buckley has covered on this album. It begins with a gasp of air, some slow electric guitar playing and a sense of foreboding emotion in the melody on the guitar. This is extremely moving and lovely listening. Once Jeff Buckley sings nicely away, we are listening furiously to the emotion and accuracy of his precise vocal delivery. It is a great song and no doubt this song sounds full of Grace and beauty from inside and out. A true gem in Pop/Rock history, this does sound really excellent and outstanding as a lovely song reinterpreted. Just a truly beautiful listen and gorgeous too, this is a lovely melodic song from start to finish. The guitar playing becomes to the fore here in the second half, just sounding really precise and pretty. Great song and reaches a dramatic climax towards the end which is super special listening to. A really anthemic and beautiful tune, and it’s about love, not religion. Great listening experience and a real classic tune, brilliant.
Lover, You Should’ve Come Over is next, with some strange keyboards in the intro which sound really classy and semi-Psychedelic in orientation. After they stop, some pretty acoustic guitars and some more straightforward singing by Jeff Buckley commence here about the pouring rain and love itself. It sounds like the sort of listening that one would close their eyes and lie in bed to, it is that gentle and reassuring sounding. Jeff Buckley puts in another great vocal and works on this song, it just sounds really nice and awesome throughout. This is a more straightforward piece of songcraft that is nicely structured musically and delivered in an open and honest way by Jeff Buckley. This album is likely underrated, there are beautiful tunes here from start to finish. This song is a passionate plea to a lover to return to one’s arms, but not in a negative way. A genuinely awesome listen, this sounds like a good piece of music that is totally enjoyable for the nearly seven minutes in length that this is. Jeff Buckley puts blood, sweat and tears into the album, notably with his singing. Another great song, no question here of that.
Corpus Christi Carol is a shorter piece with some melancholy guitar and pretty harmonies at the start. Jeff Buckley sings very beautifully and sounds like he has been inspired by the best singers out there. A very emotional piece, this sounds very unlike anything else out there and is a really gorgeous listen throughout. A short piece of melodramatic and passionate expertise, it is a surprise on this album to listen to. Nice effort.
Next is Eternal Life which begins with some awesome guitar riffing, very much James Bond-like. It quickly launches into a thunderous and pounding Rock number that sounds great. A cool and different listening experience compared to the rest of the album, this sounds punchy and energetic. This is very much a lively and powerful listen, it is a more mainstream sounding piece of music than one would expect from this album, and it sounds very original and guitar-heavy. A good listen which is different, yet powerful and inspiring throughout. This is very 1990s, but a great listen from Jeff Buckley. The furious pace and brilliant band performance on this song is worth listening to. There is a Mellotron string section that battles it out with Jeff Buckley at the end before this concludes with guitar feedback. Nice.
Following is Dream Brother which begins with what sounds like Mandolin, albeit freaky Mandolin. Electric guitars follow that sound moody, along with bongos and a great amount of suspense. This has some semi-chanted lyrics throughout, and it sounds really eerie to listen to. It is a strange and odd sort of listen, likely influenced by some Classic Rock acts of the past. Soon enough, this song goes into a more typical piece of Jeff Buckley, but with some ghostly multitracked vocals. A really interesting and inspired piece of music, this sounds very odd but captivating listening. Strange, but another essential listen from Jeff Buckley. The outro goes back into the minimal setting from the start of the song and finishes in a very odd way. Unusual, for sure.
Forget Her is next, which has some dark and moody riffing. It talks more deeply about love and emotions for a lady who will not accept oneself anymore. A really deep and moving listen which is very much motivated by personal regrets, Jeff Buckley puts his heart on his sleeve. A really understandable sort of song, this is an interesting and deep journey through pain and suffering. It has a loud and odd-sounding guitar solo to listen to and is very much a story of being betrayed by a lover. Something good to shed tears to when the moment is required to do so, this is a good song for that. A tremendous and emotional finish, this is incredible and touching music to finish the album with. Excellent listening.
This is a monumental album that should have received more attention than it has, even with Jeff Buckley’s sad passing in 1997. There is very little at all to dislike here, and this album is a real treasure to listen to. If you like gentle Rock music, beautiful male singing, a singer-songwriter approach to music and a sense of romanticism, you will enjoy this one. It’s a truly classic album and a necessary listen and an addition to your collection of music.
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