Jeff Buckley
Mystery White Boy


4.0
excellent

Review

by USER (1 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 6 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Jeff Buckley - Mystery White Boy (2000, Sony)

[url]www.jeffbuckley.com[/url]

Band:
Jeff Buckley - Guitar and Vocals
Mick Grondahl - Bass Guitar
Michael Tighe - Guitar
Matt Johnson - Percussion


This album is the second posthoumous release, coming 3 years after Buckley's death, the first being his unfinished 2nd studio album "Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk". "Mystery White Boy" is collection of live recordings taken during Buckley's "Mystery White Boy" tour, from venues across the world.

7 of the 12 tracks on offer here can be found on Buckley's classic album, "Grace". The other 5 comprise of 3 Buckley originals, "I Woke Up In A Strange Place" , "Moodswing Whiskey" (which was co-written with Michael Tighe) and "What Will You Say" (which was co-written with his friend Chris Dowd and Carla Azar, two friends of his from when Jeff lived in Los Angeles). There are also 2 covers here, "The Man That Got Away" originally written by Harold Arlen and "Kangaroo" by Big Star.

Song Review:

Dream Brother - a complete reworking of the final track on "Grace", and all the better for it. Some great ad-libbing from Jeff in the middle section of the song and the way the instruments keep building, dropping out and rebuilding is great. 4.5/5

I Woke Up In A Strange Place - this new Buckley track isn't on a par with some of his other work but it's likeable enough. It's got a nice riff and some decent lyrics. 3/5

Mojo Pin - pretty much the same as the "Grace" version. The only difference is that he sings some of the lyrics in an annoying voice, which spoils the track a bit for me. Apart from that, though, it's a good track. 3.5/5

Lilac Wine - the cover of Nina Simone's song loses none of it's fragile beauty when played live. Here, though, the small instrumental section they put in doesn't really work and causes the song to lose it's way a bit, before recovering for the end. 3.5/5

What Will You Say - the best new Buckley song on here, the lyrics were written by Chris Dowd about his father, but translate to Jeff's own situation regarding his father. A very passionately sung song that is very moving, especially after the guitar solo. However, I don't like the way Jeff sings some of his ad-libs. They seem a bit off key. Still an excellent song, though. 4/5

Last Goodbye - the song follows the same structure as on "Grace", but here the bass, which is prominant in the "Grace" version, just bubbles underneath the song. There's also some neat guitar work from Jeff to make up for the loss of strings. This is probably my favourite track on the album. 5/5

Eternal Life - this version is completely changed from the weak "Grace" version. Here, there's a stomping riff laden with distortion. Jeff shows off the diversity of his voice with some screamy, shouty vocals. There's also some brilliant bass playing from Grondahl. A great track. 5/5

Grace - my favourite track on "Grace". Here, it's a pretty faithful rendition of it until the end. Then they introduce a new riff and Jeff does some random ad-libbing to the end of the track. 5/5

Moodswing Whiskey - this was written after "Grace" but left off "Sketches...". It's quite a quiet song until about 4 minutes into the song. Then it really picks up. Not one of my favourites, but an OK song. 3/5

The Man That Got Away - in my opinion, the worst track on the album. The song is just Jeff playing guitar (which you can barely hear) and singing. The lyrics are quite good, but I don't like the rendition. 1.5/5

Kangaroo - Jeff's favourite song to play live, and you can feel the energy in the performance. Whilst Jeff's singing, the instrumenation is once again quiet, but once the lyrics end, the band builds up to a big kick in the song and the "Kangaroo Hop" as Mick Grondahl referred to it. There's some great drumming and a fantastic riff. 4.5/5

Hallelujah/I Know It's Over - the song that seems to be synonymous with Jeff Buckley's name. Here, he segues it with a Smiths' song, and they go very well together. The best version of Hallelujah I've heard from him. 5/5

Overall
One of the remarkable things about this album is just how tight the band is. There are few, if any, instrumental mistakes during the songs. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that there was no pre-determined set list at any of their shows, and that Jeff didn't tell the band members when he was changing the songs, he expected them to follow his lead.

If you own "Grace" you should seriously consider getting this album. The standard of instrumentation is very high, as is the quality of the singing. I don't think it's quite as good as "Grace" but it's a worthy purchase. If you don't own "Grace", you're probably better off getting that before this. One word of warning though - if you don't like vocal ad-libs, then don't get this.

4/5

Any spelling mistakes or wrong facts, please tell me so I can edit them.


user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
moderaterock222
July 20th 2004


121 Comments


Its a good review, the new songs are really really great to listen to..it just makes it so much more saddening that he isnt with us anymore.
My sister has this album and its good, and i also have a the dvd of him live and its quite inspirational.

Wintermute
July 20th 2004


8 Comments


I'd quite like to add that if you do not own a copy of Grace: beg, borrow, steal, or sell elderly relatives to get a copy.

A good, in depth review. It made me stop and wonder why I don't actually own this album yet.

I have to say I haven't heard the MWB version of Eternal Life, but the Grace version was very strong, certainly in comparison to the rest of the album. I'll be interested to hear this stronger one. I may seize the cd player when next round your house. Be warned.

Med57
Moderator
July 20th 2004


1001 Comments


I have Grace (and, of course, love it), but I'd never heard of this album. I'll probably be getting it now. Thanks for the review :thumb:

tjrd
October 31st 2005


31 Comments


Good review.
I recently bought Grace - Legacy Edition, and it features a studio recording of this live version of Eternal Life. They named it the Road Version.
I don't really prefer it to the Grace version, which I think is a bit more nuanced, and since it's already the hardest track on Grace as it is, I think the Road Version would have created too big a contrast.

danje
May 28th 2006


44 Comments


good review.
What sputnik needs now is sum tim buckley reviews

vikkirose6
October 13th 2006


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree that he Road Version of Eternal Life isn't as good as the Grace version, did you know he released it in Australia? But the record company refused to let him release it anywhere else.
But this is a great album, and it just makes me wish that I had of seen him live, cos it would have been a breathtaking experience!



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