Sunday, August 17, 2008

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

At one point, a friend of a friend had stated that Jeff Buckley's Grace was my favorite album of all time. And when he said this, it was akward because I had to tell him that I had never heard Jeff Buckley but only knew of the legend and what his album Grace looked like. This to me was strange taht someoen thought something was my personal favorite from my disposition. I immediately got a copy of Jeff Buckley's debut album and would mark the first time I ever bought a record just because someone thought I liked it. Maybe the last time too. Regardless of that, it was an almost religious experience that someone would have mistakenly tapped into the essence of my being through music. I don't recall who it was that mentioned this album to me, but I know it was sometime during my radio show days at La Salle. Probably freshman year. This seemed so strange that a random person would tap into everything I liked and found a package deal of music that was phenomenally breathtaking and refreshing. Thank you, that certain person.

Grace also acted like a crutch when I was down. I wrote a long winded blog about it ages ago and broke it down about it being a loose concept album about break-up and losing that emotional attachment to someone. Looking back, that might be kind of a stretch, but it just goes to show that music can touch people in different ways. It's not a break-up album like Beck's Sea Change, but it has very emotional songs about personal loss and torment and such. Grace was also the gateway to other artists. For example, Jeff's cover of Nina Simone's "Lilac Wine" is not only an amazing cover, but led to the discovery of Nina herself. Both versions are phenomenal and any album that can lead me to more greatness pays off big time. Thinking back to that time where I listened to Grace on repeat is kind of hard so dwelling on that here isn't going to happen. However, one thing is for sure, the album is fantastic.

"Mojo Pin" is one of those unique musical moments I've ever experienced. Much like "Talking Old Soldiers" put you right in that Old West bar, "Mojo Pin" puts you in the nightmare that the lyrics are describing. The swelling of the music, the hypnotic guitar and the screaming of the vocals at the end until you awake from that nightmare. "Grace" is as epic and amazing as it can get. A song for the ages. A song of dying, of being forgotten and loss. Some of Jeff's best guitar and vocal range. "Lover, You Should've Come Over" is probably one of the greatest love songs ever written. The emotions and lyricism in that song are so powerful and imaginative that I can't help but get a bit choked up when listening to it. "Dream Brother" and "So Real" are two stand-out favorites that just can't go unmentioned although, as stated, I don't want to dwell on this too much longer.

From not knowing a damn thing about Jeff Buckley, to being thought of as a Jeff Buckley fanatic to becoming one, it was a fast transition. It was one that also was bittersweet. Knowing that he only had one alum and one posthumus release and some live stuff is kind of sucky. I wonder what he would be recording now if he was still alive. Maybe he would suck now, who knows. It makes him more mysterious and makes his music more poignant knowing that it was a flash in the pan. But still, some part of me wants more. Ah well, I guess it means it's time to pop in Live at Sin-e and soak in the massive amounts of songs that he recorded for this live concert.

1. The Who - Tommy
2. Beck - Odelay
3. Television - Marquee Moon
4. Weezer - Pinkerton
5. Brian Eno - Before & After Science
6. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
7. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
8. Grand Funk Railroad - Closer to Home
9. Foo Fighters - The Colour & The Shape
10. Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
11. Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
12. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
13. Jeff Buckley - Grace

Up Next: Warren Zevon

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