Saturday, 18 June 2011

Jeff Buckley - Grace

Oh my, where to start.. Jeff Buckley, son of Folk legend Tim Buckley, following on the musical heritage he left behind. Tim's career ended on a low note, during his Soul/Funk period, which was met with poor critical response. Jeff's ended on a high, with a strong debut, with a second album in the works.

Mojo Pin being the introduction, starts slow with an arpeggio, with Jeff's carefully sang vocals lying on top of the rhythm. The song climaxes before retreating to the more advanced arpeggio, steady drum beat and escalating vocals. Outstanding opener.

The self titled track is much alike the opener, with the slow start, leading to a climax before the sudden drop towards a melancholy end. It's 2011 and this 1994 album doesn't sound dated at all.

Last Goodbye is truly remarkable, the shimmering vocals and progressive guitar work are beautiful. The drums are a real stand out on this track, following  basic rhythm but in different timings.

Lilac Wine had been my favorite from this album for a very long time, it's focus for the listener is the delicious vocal work, before breaking in to a mellow, slow driven song. It's a sweet song, Jeff gets across many emotions during this 4 minute track.

Many of Jeff's songs are fast paced, guitar driven tracks, songs such as So Real are thunderous. So Real explodes in places, the chorus being the highlight, with Jeff's falsetto work driving the song along. the Verse's don't have such a strong effect, in places being a little sharp.

Hallelujah, is the song every Tom, Dick & Harry has heard. Brilliant song, Leonard Cohen at his best. Jeff's take is a rejuvenated version of John Cale's piano edition. Like everybody else, this song is beautiful, the song drives straight into your Soul and drags out all the emotion, this isn't background music, it's music you need to be listening to at night, in a quiet, stress free atmosphere. 

Lover, You Should've Come Over has been my favourite for a while now, it's organ based intro is ended with a plain and simple drum rhythm placed with the light and easy bass, melancholy guitar and Jeff's easy going vocals. He sounds retreated here, he isn't getting into the song, the songs getting into him. This is one of his best vocal performances here, it's amazing how broad hos vocal range is. The ending to this song is one of the best I've heard, with the lyrics being driven throughout, during a buildup which ends on a high note with Jeff using his voice to his potential.

Corpus Christi Carol, being Jeff's take on a hymn, it comes across beautiful, female like vocals surround the guitar progressions. Eternal Life, being one of the rigorous tracks, explodes. You don't expect it on such a beautiful quiet like album. This track is on of his strong points, with the Grunge like guitars driving the song, with the lack of falsetto vocals, he doesn't try and reach high notes, he's just singing very well, the chord changes are spectacular during this song.

Dream Brother being  a more experimental track, like the start of the album, an arpeggio is the driving rhythm. The song takes off in different places, with an intimate chorus being one of the strong aspects.

This album is very important, influencing many modern acts and singers. Many attempting to replicate his style, one being Thom Yorke, who wanted The Bends to be much alike Grace, you can hear the similarities throughout The Bends. Jeff creates an eerie atmosphere on every track. His vocals showing his capabilities, as well as emotion. Tim Buckley had a strong voice, some would say Tim had one of the best music had to offer, Jeff's vocals are a polished, laid back version of what Tim had. Jeff uses his voice to his advantage on this album, he was one of the worlds greatest singers, at the time being extremely tipped to become a huge star, it was a shame his career ended so sudden, before he managed to establish himself. We have one album, one strong masterpiece, debut, mellow album. So i thank you Jeff Buckley.


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