Jeff Buckley
Grace


5.0
classic

Review

by kvltwalter USER (32 Reviews)
January 24th, 2014 | 65 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Music from another state of mind, body, and spirit

Technical ability in the music world can only take you to a certain point before something unexplainable from outside the four walls of a practice room, or perhaps from deep within the musician occupying the room, has to take over and lead you the rest of the way. You can call it “soul” or “spirit”, or maybe it’s something otherworldly that inspires the artist. Whatever it might be, this force coupled with outstanding technique is what truly great musicians are made of. This force guides the fingers across the fretboard, tugs at the vocal cords, and controls every musical step of the artist. Jeff Buckley, I believe, is unquestionably one of those artists who was in complete control of this force.

Buckley’s one and only full-length LP (he died during the recording process of his second album) was not a big hit, nor was it widely known about during his lifetime. However, the album has since managed to worm its way into the heart of ‘90s rock and has attained widespread recognition and acclaim, which it has rightfully attained. Grace is an extraordinary piece of work that unites singer/songwriter keenness with a glossy coating of soulful passion that can’t merely be achieved through countless hours of practice or a degree in music theory. As was mentioned before, there’s something else that’s at work here to result an album so delightful and masterfully executed. Grace succeeds where so many rock albums have failed in this sense; it gives us a set of excellent tunes but also bears the soul of the artist to all who listen, making it a loveable and personal affair with the power to ensnare anyone in its wake. The album stirs the emotions of its listeners, and as soon as Jeff’s mesmerizing voice gently floats through your speakers, you’ll begin to see what I mean when I say that an “otherworldly” force is was present here.

Jeff Buckley was a singer who had a tremendous amount of range that extended three and a half, maybe even four octaves, but it’s the breadth of emotion that he used to coat each and every note of every octave that he can sing that made him a truly special talent. Sure, his falsetto was unbeatable, and he could hold a note for two weeks if he needed to (listen to the title track for an example) but gawking at the technical aspects of his voice doesn’t allow for the full appreciation of Jeff and his music. His voice evokes a feeling out of the listener that’s hard to satisfactorily put into words, and his technique is just the vehicle he uses to get himself there. Just listen to the gorgeous “Corpus Christi Carol” where he sings accompanied only by his guitar, yet he still surpasses any band with as many as nine musicians in it. Similarly, his award-worthy rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” shows how anyone can sound impressive with a full band behind him, but all a truly great artist needs to do is pick up an instrument, open his/her mouth to sing, and blow us all away, which is what Buckley does here perfectly. Of course, the addition of a backing band doesn’t hurt, nor does it crowd Buckley out of the album’s spotlight. Tracks with full instrumentation such as “Mojo Pin” and “Last Goodbye” give Buckley an extra push that wasn’t present on his previously released Live at Sin-e EP which featured him as the only musician. Jangly, bell-like telecaster guitars and warm bass fit the mellow style of this record, that is, until you arrive at the surprisingly heavy “Eternal Life”, the album’s only “rocker” which features distorted power chords and soloing by Buckley. After the ethereal “Dream Brother” closes out the record, it’s sad to think that it was only the first, as well as the last full-length to be released by such an intriguing and truly special talent.

With one album, Jeff Buckley established himself as a visionary artist and a true original in the ‘90s alternative music scene, and in rock music as a whole. In terms of widespread popularity and impact during his lifetime, will he go down as one of the most influential artists of his generation alongside, say, Kurt Cobain? Maybe not. But will he go down as one of the most talented artists of his generation? That is for certain. When it comes to Grace, just listen, feel, and reflect on the man who made the music and, possibly, reflect on your own life as well. Grace is a treat for the ears as well as for the soul, thank you Jeff, and rest in peace.



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user ratings (1365)
Chart.
4.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
lz41
January 23rd 2014


52 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you.

kvltwalter
January 23rd 2014


21 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You're welcome

tommygun
January 23rd 2014


24989 Comments


omg

FourthReich
January 23rd 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

smae

Rowan5215
January 23rd 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic review, you nailed why this is one of the best ever
That's a chunky paragraph that's almost solely about his vocals there but when we're talking about Jeff I can't blame you

Digging: Vestascension - Breaching the Sound

tempest--
January 23rd 2014


13912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best

dannyboy89
January 24th 2014


12031 Comments


Awesome review, pos'd.

FiveLeavesLeft
January 24th 2014


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hellyeah, more Jeff!

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
January 24th 2014


6156 Comments


i don't like this review because "four walls of a practice room"

i feel you're being unfair to practice rooms why do they have to have four walls why can't they be
pentagon shaped or hexagon shaped or dodecahedron shaped

please explain that and then maybe i'll reconsider my stance on this review but for now i'm going to
leave this neg

Rowan5215
January 24th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Show us photographic proof of a dodecahedric practice room and we will consider your insolence justified

tempest--
January 24th 2014


13912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fyi its actually better for acoustics if rooms are not square or rectangular!

Rowan5215
January 24th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'fyi'
so sassy

adarkishman
January 24th 2014


548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whats the difference between a push up brah and andre
push up bras give good support

tempest--
January 24th 2014


13912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hi ben
more like
hymen

FourthReich
January 24th 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@dunpizzle http://plug.dj/hybrid-theory/

adarkishman
January 24th 2014


548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hi

FourthReich
January 24th 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hey

Rowan5215
January 24th 2014


27199 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sup

FourthReich
January 24th 2014


17874 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

COMMENT TOO SHORT

adarkishman
January 24th 2014


548 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sup



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