Tuesday, December 20, 2005


One of my current musical loves (probably my most listened to album this year- 2005 was tough on my heart) is that of the genius of Jeff Buckley. He compsed only one album before tragically drowning in the Wolf River. That album, of course, is Grace, voted by XPN listeners as the 27th greatest album of all time and currently in my top 10. Within this album are the defining musical performances of the 90's between song writing, guitars, drums, bass and of course vocals. Buckley's words are so brilliant and his delivery is even better. And, in my humble opinion, the album covers a topic and a concept of some emotional break-up that we all go through when losing the love of our life. Here is my song-bu-song breakdown that shows its growth in heartbreak.

Track 1- Mojo Pin- A song about a dream, the singer is haunted by his loss in some of the most intense lyrics on the album. As the song starts, the music and singing are a whisper as if we are hearing him in his sleep speak of his loss. It slowly builds to a violent and scary interpretation of his torment as the music builds and the vocals explode. The best line, depicting in extremely beautifuly heartbreaking terms is this:

"The welts of your scorn, my love, give me more
Send whips of opinion down my back, give me more
Well it’s you I’ve waited my life to seeIt’s you
I’ve searched so hard for..."

Track 2- Grace- A lose interpretation on my thought, but this song to me seems to be sort of the break-up where he can no longer live with losing his love. It's hard, but he knows its true that its ending and in a terrible way.

"And I feel them drown my name
So easy to know and forget with this kiss
But I’m not afraid to go, baby it’s all because of you
But I’m not afraid to go, but it goes so slow, slow"

He loves her but knows its coming and he's trying to be strong for himself. God that feeling sucks.

Track 3- Last Goodbye- This song is him finally knowing, after trying to not be afraid of the end, but knowing it is. It is in fact the last goodbye, or at least we think it is by the convincing lyrics. He is finally "sure" that he is over this love of his.

"Kiss me, please kiss me
But kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation
You know it makes me so angry ’cause I know that in time
I’ll only make you cry, this is our last goodbye"

Sort of the head games we play with ourselves when breaking up. Kind of like it was our fault it was over and that it's "for the better." Oh how we try to fool ourselves.

Track 4- Lilac Wine- The first of three covers, this song is by far the most beautiful statement of what we all do to forget her (which is Buckley song b-side from this album.) We go to the drink.

"I made wine from the lilac tree
Put my heart in it’s recipe
It makes me see what I want to see
And be what I want to be

When I think more than I want to think
Do things I never should do
I drink much more that I ought to drink
Because it brings me back you"

He uses someone elses words to get this painful feeling across. We drink away the pain and want to forget our troubles. It's as if Buckley wanted to forget his troubles by not writing a song about it and using this one. Excellent choice.

Track 5 - So Real- After being drunk, we all go through nightmarish weird times when we remember why we drank... to ease the pain and forget her... but Lord knows that isn't going to happen. Now his nightmare isn't a dream as in Mojo Pin, but is reality.

"And I couldn’t awake from the nightmare that sucked me in and pulled me under"

The realization that it is all so real hits him hard. He loves her, but is afraid to love her. And it's because his heart is broken and the fact he knows its no longer a dream.

Track 6- Hallelujah- Second cover on the album. Pretty much, knowing things are real, we turn to something to help us along again. This time the words of someone else. Therefore the cover, but a fitting one. One where the composer/focus of the song is doing just that- asking for help.

"There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do ya
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath you drew was hallelujah"

Remembering times before that were great. And now that it's gone, things just aren't the same anymore.

Track 8- Lover, You Should've Come Over- Greatest love song ever written in my new opinion. Love songs are a-plenty, but this one takes it. As much as you try to forget love, it's still there. Gnawing at your heart. This song is a plea to the love in Buckley's life (not sure who, but I will be researching this more). He confronts his ideas of love and such. And in the most beautiful words ever written about love, he simply yet brilliantly sums up what its like when you miss the one you love so much:

"It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her
It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughterI
t’s never over, she’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever
Well maybe I’m just too young
To keep good love from going wrong"

It doesn't get much more brilliant than that. Someone who loves someone so much feels like they would give anything for the simple things to return. It's magnificent.

Track 8- Corpus Christi Carol- The last cover on the album, the only real reason I see this being on here is to set in stone (which is a lyric in this) the idea of his heart being torn to shreds. Here is an interesting line that I have a few thoughts on:

"And on this bed there lyeth a knight
His wound is bleeding day and night
By his bedside kneeleth a maid
And she weepeth both night and day"

Here is the notion of her feeling some sort of similar feeling and her seeing the damage she may have done in this heartbreak. Its really the only song I don't have my finger on quite yet.

Track 9- Eternal Life- Here is where we all question life when losing something we thought was everything for us. We all do it. We hate life after something we put our whole sense of being into. And then when it's gone, its almost like what else is there to live for?

"There’s no time for hatred, only questions
Where is love, where is happiness, what is life,
Where is peace?
When will I find the strength to bring me release?
And tell me where is the love in what your prophet has said? "

Also, this song is the height of intensity in the music. A total anger fest at why love is gone in any form on the world.

Track 10- Dream Brother- This is his final statement to everyone listening who has had the same loss as himself. WE are his dream brothers who live in this world of loss and despair. It's an amazing statement saying this:

"Don’t be like the one who made me so old
Don’t be like the one who left behind his name
’cause they’re waiting for you like I waited for mine
And nobody ever came..."

Simply saying- Don't do what I did (which is depicted in this album from tracks 1-9). The music and the song structure is a perfect bookend to Mojo Pin and is an amazingly touching statement to the listener.

The album as a whole is a great crutch. Go through a similar heartbreak with Buckley and at the end, know that it's not as bad as he felt it. We learn a beautiful lesson and we get beautiful music along with it. SO if you haven't heard Grace yet, do it now. Especially if you want a great emotional and almost spiritual experience.

1 comment:

Lou said...

I couldn't finish reading your post, I didn't get past track five. I fell asleep. Sorry man.