I haven't really had this album for very long, just a couple of months, but it's still up there with my all time favourite albums. It's really hard for me to find one album that I can consider the best in my CD collection, so I'm not going to call this my favourite album, just a very, very good one. Most people will know who Jeff Buckley is, or at least will know his dad Tim, so I'll just get straight to the music itself.

One of the first things that strikes you when you listen to 'Grace' for the first time is Jeff's voice, which is extraordinary for two reasons. Firstly there is his technical ability-Just listen to the end of the cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah', when Buckley holds a note so long you end up waiting to hear if you will hear the sound of him collapsing due to lack of oxygen, and secondly there is the amount of passion he puts into his vocals. Every lyric is sung with an astonishing conviction and power. The music itself, however, would best described as bluesy soft grunge soul. Without it Buckley would just be an amazing voice. From the subtle grunge guitars that introduce the brilliant 'Mojo Pin', to the slint-ish build and release of tension on 'So Real', from the sublime 'Grace' itself, to the soulful hymns 'Lilac Wine' and 'Corpus Christi Carol' , from the blues/soul of 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' to the more full-on grunge of 'Eternal Life' every note cannot fail to move you; such is the passion and the power of this album.

'Grace' reminds me in some ways of Temple of the Dog-a collaboration between half of Soundgarden and half of Pearl Jam that produced some of the most passionate and hauntingly beautiful music of the early nineties Seattle scene-but I think that Buckley had an extra something special, something that made his music more moving, and his untimely death all the more saddening.

If you look at Buckley's death from a more positive angle (if it is possible to look at death in a positive way), the fact that 'Grace' is the sole album by a man cut off in his creative prime makes it even more special. Before I had even heard 'Grace', I developed an interest in the background of the album and Jeff Buckley himself. I just couldn't and still cannot understand why people would choose albums like Oasis' 'Definitely Maybe', which came out in the same month as 'Grace', over such a vastly superior album. Only recently has Buckley received even a hint of the praise he deserved at the time, albeit from dull indie bands like Coldplay and JJ72, that try to do the Buckley thing but don't even come close. Still, 'Grace' remains an important album, and it will remain as important in many years to come.











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Commenting On: Grace - Jeff Buckley








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