Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
by astro man
Approaching 20 years since the release of Grace, it hasn’t missed a note. Every time I listen to this album Jeff Buckley’s voice shakes me to the very core. If I could have anyone’s vocals Jeff Buckley’s would be my number 1 pick every time. Not only did he have an angelic voice of a thousand angels, he could absolutely play the guitar. At times with such grace and honest; other times he could rock you until you fell back on your ass. Jeff Buckley was a very educated musician studying music theory and coming from a family of musicians including his dad Tim Buckley. This musical knowledge shines through on Grace showing his ability to create harmonies and make interesting transitions.
Grace is 10 tracks long and each track has it’s own story musically and lyrically. Many of the tracks have abrupt shifts and this was exhibited on “Mojo Pin” his opening track for Grace. It starts out as a slow rock tune, but then takes a more psychedelic turn. These styles take turns switching throughout the song. Buckley once stated that this song was about obsessions for a drug or person with lyrics like “Don’t wanna weep for you /I don’t wanna know / I’m blind and tortured / the white horses flow / The memories fire / the rhythms fall slow / Black beauty I love you so, so, so…”- it is clear that the rhythm of this love or obsession has captured his soul in someway.
“Last Goodbye” is another one of my favorites from this album. This song was the second released single on the album. It starts with feedback through a guitar and then the main bass line kicks in to set the tone for the song. Strings are added to give this song a more sympathetic sound. The lyrics are very heartfelt as well and I’m sure that anyone who has gone through a heartbreak will understand that.
Jeff Buckley’s rendition of “Hallelujah” is probably one of the best known. If you haven’t listened to this version I strongly advise that you stop what you are doing and listen to this version. So elegantly put together by Jeff Buckley you can hear the pain, beauty, love, and desperation in his voice. This version is Jeff Buckley singing only to be accompanied by his beautiful finger picking skills on the guitar.
My favorite song from this album “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” was inspired by a crumbling relationship Jeff Buckley went through. The lyrics give you the sense that as a growing man should understand the consequences of a relationship that is falling apart and yet the feelings of resentment always return. The music denotes an honesty and purity that Jeff Buckley brings.
All things considered, this is one of the best albums to be released in the 90’s. An album that is a capsule as to what beauty the human voice can achieve. No one will ever be able to reach the vocal range that Buckley had and for that his music will always be around.
Listen to the album on spotify.
Buy Grace on Amazon.