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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Honeyman Cometh
There will always be two schools of thought surrounding the recorded output of TB. Those who eschew out-of-hand all of his latter, sub-commercial trio of releases (i.e. Greetings From LA, Sefronia, and Look At The Fool) in favour of the more stoned escapades of Lorca, Starsailor, Blue Afternoon, etc. But there are those of us who love every aspect of the great minstrel,...
Published on 2 Mar 2008 by pikeyboy

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let it grow on you!
Perhaps I was a little harsh when I reviewed this album in November of 2003.
Although it will never be my favourite Buckley album (Happy Sad and Lorca are in a continuous battle for that position) I think I was a bit cruel by giving it only two stars, although I still can't listen to Martha or I Know I'd Recognise Your Face.
If it's true that he had a cold when...
Published on 4 Jan 2004 by K. Hands


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Honeyman Cometh, 2 Mar 2008
By 
pikeyboy (carmarthen, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
There will always be two schools of thought surrounding the recorded output of TB. Those who eschew out-of-hand all of his latter, sub-commercial trio of releases (i.e. Greetings From LA, Sefronia, and Look At The Fool) in favour of the more stoned escapades of Lorca, Starsailor, Blue Afternoon, etc. But there are those of us who love every aspect of the great minstrel, and why not? There will never be another like him. Personally, I think Sefronia is a great album, though flawed. Certainly, he nails Dolphins perfectly, rearranging Fred Neil's verses into what is arguably a more coherent song, and his version of Martha is better than any other I've heard, and that includes Tom Waits' own. As for the seemingly contentious I Know I'd Recognize Your Face - I love that song! It may not be classic, mouldbreaking Buckley, but what do you expect? Can't a man try something different every now and again? Nobody has mentioned that besides being about unpaid alimony, etc., the song is about a draft-dodger from the Vietnam conflict, and in that context sits well alongside others such as Nighthawkin', Make It Right, Peanut Man, Sally Go Round The Roses, Bring It On Up, Freeway Blues, and so on. The album was recorded during a period of social upheaval in the US (i.e. when the soldiers were being repatriated) and like Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, the latter period of TB reflects very much this change of national mood. Buckley had done introspection better than anyone, but you can't live in a bubble forever. Whichever way you see it, this was a new direction for Buckley. You also have to remember that, as great as we view albums like Lorca and Starsailor in hindsight, they buttered no parsnips as far as Tim was concerned ("Hey! your record's great! I wouldn't buy it though!" - you know?). Personally, I find Starsailor a very part-baked affair, and not a patch on HappySad or Blue Afternoon, which themselves were put together from bits of other material. But hey! It's all Tim Buckley, and really, what more could you ask for?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let it grow on you!, 4 Jan 2004
By 
K. Hands "knitty kitty" (Carlisle, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
Perhaps I was a little harsh when I reviewed this album in November of 2003.
Although it will never be my favourite Buckley album (Happy Sad and Lorca are in a continuous battle for that position) I think I was a bit cruel by giving it only two stars, although I still can't listen to Martha or I Know I'd Recognise Your Face.
If it's true that he had a cold when recording the album then I wish I sounded that good at any time, ill or not! The production still detracts from the music a little but I have learned to ignore it and appreciate the brilliant songs hiding underneath. As a friend pointed out to me after I made a comment about producer Denny Rendell being shot, Buckley himself never kicked up a fuss about it being so bad, perhaps because of his dalliances with heroin at the time.
I do think it's worth hunting down The Dream Belongs To Me because it features demo recordings that Buckley made before the sessions for Sefronia. You can hear the songs in a much rawer state with much more of the Buckley spirit, his voice being used as the fantastic instrument that it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peanuts & honey, 22 Sep 2010
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Sefronia is Tim`s worst album (except
for those who think Look at the Fool or Starsailor take that dubious accolade).
I don`t think he made `worst` albums, only one or two less good ones.
What Sefronia doesn`t quite have is the coherence of his best work - Happy Sad, Blue Afternoon, Look at the Fool - but there`s enough here for the Buckley buff to indulge his passions.
If I`ve erred on the side of generosity in giving this 4 stars, may I present as evidence four songs which show this great singer at his magisterial best. Dolphins is a Fred Neil song (once also covered nicely by the band It`s a Beautiful Day) that gives Tim a chance to show off his vocal chops on an enigmatic, slowish ballad which may just be one of his finest moments; Honey Man is Tim the falsetto voiced ladykiller, on an insidiously soulful number typical of the way in which his music was developing; and the gorgeous Martha, by Buckley fan and friend Tom Waits, is an earnestly sung orchestral song with a tempo shift on the chorus that moves me almost to tears each time I hear it. It`s an edited version of Waits` original (which I don`t think TW had even recorded yet at that stage) with fewer verses and an even more romantic feel. Then there`s the enjoyably daft Peanut Man, which perhaps presages the kind of upbeat follies the similarly unpredictable Paolo Nutini indulges in today.
There are one or two forgettable tracks, it`s true - Because of You and Stone in Love for example; and the two-part title track seems to have strayed in from another, earlier album. As for the duet with one Marcia Waldorf on I Know I`d Recognize Your Face, unlike some reviewers I`ve always rather liked it. Tim sounds tender and quite at home on what is a mid-tempo soul ballad, and the lady sounds fine too. The trad Sally Go `Round the Roses rounds off a pleasing, varied set in a lighter mood.
Every Tim B album has tracks worth hearing. This oft-maligned penultimate offering is no exception, with Dolphins & Martha unmissable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not for nitpickers., 8 Feb 2013
By 
manchester man (lancashire england.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
dear me...am i the only reviewer to give 5 stars...bold and inspiring...powerful...rich in voice...mysterious and intriguing...unique...there will never be another like this...just count your blessings you can listen to it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment even though I was prepared..., 4 Nov 2003
By 
K. Hands "knitty kitty" (Carlisle, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
After hearing Tim Buckley for the first time I have striven to own everything I can get my hands on. Of his studio albums there are only two not in my collection: Look At The Fool (just haven't got round to buying it yet) and Starsailor (why oh why is this still unavailable? What I have heard is fantastic).
I'd heard that after Greetings From LA Buckley went downhill a little, and after the first play of this album I wondered where the Tim Buckley that had written such great albums as Lorca, Happy Sad and Blue Afternoon had gone. I wondered what was it that made Greetings From LA a good album and Sefronia almost unbearable?
There are several answers to this. All the songs suffer from over-production, there's too much going on at once. Buckley's voice, whilst still amazing doesn't shine. On Greetings From LA (as on many of his other albums) Buckley's voice is used as an instrument. He shrieks and wails to the best of his ability, perfectly fitting for the suggestive content of the lyrics. However on Sefronia his voice is merely a voice and the album suffers because of this.
Song-wise the cover of Fred Neil's Dolphins is great, Honey Man is one of the best songs on the album (although I've heard it performed better live). As the reviewer before me stated, Peanut Man is fun and I Know I'd Recognise Your Face is awful. Although this album has grown on me after listening a few more times I still can't listen to that one. All in all the problem is that Buckley seems to have lost his way, lost his soul by trying to do something to please others and not himself.
If I was forced to pick the best track on the album I too would go for the two-part Sefronia. Here the Buckley that I thought had disappeared re-emerges a little, revelling in his 'weirdness'.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broken by the machine, little Timmy still tries to starsail., 12 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
A bit of a suprise to any fans of the previous Greetings From LA album, Sefronia is a far more comprimised and, frankly, cheaper affair. Let down by some very average material and uninspired production, the second-to-last Tim Buckley studio album mixes a varied bag of originals with, for the first time, a handful of cover versions. Sefronia's strong points are definitely the title track - a glorious Buckley art song with evocative lyrics and amazing vocal phrasings built over an open but taut two part structure - and the beautiful Because of You, a fantastic Buckley love song which displays real soul and a wisdom in its lyrics sadly missing on much of the other original material. Of the covers, Fred Neil's Dolphins and Tom Waits' Martha come off well (if a little over produced) and Peanut Man is great fun. I Knew I'd Recognise Your Face, written by producer Denny Randell and dueted by his wife and Buckley, is a dreadful, cringe-worthy piece of music, and some of the rockier Buckley numbers are fairly empty, cod-funk fillers. Well worth the effort for the stronger tracks, Sefronia is a baffling work made all the more intriquing by its occasional forays into the sublime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars poles apart from the singer-songwriter heydays but equally valuable as a bunch of good, nostalgic ballads, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
I do not agree with other customers reviews. Maybe Tim Buckley voice is not the same he had in Starsailor, but this cd is worth while being listened as a more easy-listening and commercial effort, poles apart from the singer-songwriter heydays but equally valuable as a bunch of good , nostalgic ballads. For those who really like Tim voice this could be a good purchase to fully appreciate it. Starsailor , Happy Sad and his debut albums are good, but sound too experimental and hide in my opinion the beauty and the sweetness of his warm voice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Buckley at his most commercial - Still great !, 21 Jan 2012
By 
John (Leicester , England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
Aspects of this record fairly obviously represent a deliberate attempt to reach a wider audience , nevertheless it has some great tracks on it , most notably the 'seventies soul' tinged "Because of You " , and the seemingly 'dual track' ( according to the downloads) 'Sefronia ' parts One and Two ; both these songs are good examples of Tim Buckley's songwriting at it's emotional and melodic best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... was cracked in various places but the cd was perfect and didn't stop my, 18 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
The case was cracked in various places but the cd was perfect and didn't stop my enjoyment
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A defence of Sefronia, 6 Jun 2007
By 
D. Stephenson (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sefronia (Audio CD)
After more than thirty years of listening to Tim Buckley there are two points I would make before defending Sefronia.

First Tim never made a great album. Everyone of them is flawed. But all contain something magical that keeps drawing me back.

Second, the view people take of the albums tends to depend on the point at which they "came in". The music splits into three periods. The early baroque folk, the experimental phase and the funk/rock last period.

Sefronia is from the last phase. This is the point at which I first stumbled across Tim. And warts and all I love Sefronia. Always have.

Whatever his drug dalliances at the time Tim had lightened up his mood. He had remarried. He seems to have been as happy as he had been.

The songs are mostly covers, which avoids the toe curling "intensity" of some of the early lyrics (sorry Larry Beckett). Some of the covers Tim had beeen playing live for a long time.

Dolphins is the first track and the highlight. It is a Fred Neil song, covered by various artists including Linda Rondstat and Terry Callier. By Sefronia Tim is omitting the first verse to great effect. (Tim performs the song live on the Old Grey Whistle Test DVD, Volume One.) I have several versions of Tim doing Dolphins and overall the one on Sefronia is my favourite.

A number of the other covers have biographical significance for Tim. The Amazon synopsis and the earlier reviewers provide some details. It is also worth noting that Sally Go Round the Roses was covered by Pentangle (on Basket of Light) and that Tim had played with their bass player Danny Thompson.

The rest of the album does not recapture the intense beauty of Dolphins and to that extent is anti-climatic - which is perhaps why some find it a disappointment. But throughout there is still "the voice".

So is Sefronia a great album? No its not. None of them are. But there are flashes of greatness.

If you don't know Tim's music then watch him on the OGWT DVD and make your own mind up.
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Sefronia
Sefronia by Tim Buckley (Audio CD - 2001)
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