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Jeff Buckley

Grace

Aug 1994

Hallelujah is caressed into life on this audiophile gem

Nineties Alternate Rock and Folk Rock

Cruelly taken from us in May 1997 in a drowning accident Tim Buckley’s son never got to make a second album. So we’re left this legacy and it’s easy I suppose to get misty-eyed and side tracked by emotion. But Grace is undoubtedly a debut masterpiece.

Beautifully produced by Andy Wallace – Gary Lucas of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band gives both Mojo Pin and Grace his ‘magicalguitarness’. His sound is almost Jimmy Page circa Physical Graffiti – a swirling effect that utterly beguiles. But that of course is nothing to the voice.

Once Buckley sings on Mojo Pin or accompanies the huge guitars on Last Goodbye – you’re aware of an extraordinary presence. Then with the hypnotic Lilac Wine, the bluesy/angry hurt of So Real, the “what is life” work out of Eternal Life – Buckley creates moods, musical kisses and soaring soundscapes that feel old yet new. It’s a nineties take on classic rock that avoids cliché and sounds better than anything Led Zeppelin and their ilk could have imagined – massive drum sound, great dynamics and beautiful highs.

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over is simply gorgeous. And what can you say about his cover of Hallelujah – an all but forgotten Leonard Cohen song. Buckley takes the shimmering melody and caresses it like a lover. Is it any wonder Hallelujah has become a soundtrack staple in indie movies.

A beautifully realised debut – a once in a generation voice silenced too soon. People long for more from Jeff Buckley and isn’t that the greatest accolade an artist can achieve...