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3.8 out of 5 stars31
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 31 May 2007
5 stars for the talent - zero stars for the exploitation

It's sad to remember that it's been 10 years - but this really isn't the right way to remember him - Grace was and is an iconic, brilliant album and Sketches has some truly brilliant songs too - but this compilation doesn't reflect that - we could all pick our favourites and ask why they're not there - why not Morning Theft ( made me cry the first time I heard it) or the Live version of Mojo Pin - the chocolate version - that is the best version of that song I've heard him do. Or Kashmir from Olympia just to show the lighter side.....

Unlike Grace this album doesn't flow, doesn't sum up the ecstasy and joy and misses the wicked sense of humour - I guess you'll have to buy all the albums to really get him - and then you'll probably miss something. For me, this is Mary getting still more out of him than she ever gave him......the one who made him so old is making money off him now...and the previously unreleased tracks won't make me buy it. I'll get them off iTunes - I've already got the rest.

Shame - there must be some stuff out there worth putting out that pays real tribute, not shallow exploitation like this. He would truly be turning in his grave.
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VINE VOICEon 29 May 2007
Unbelievably, it's a decade since great white hope Jeff Buckley wandered into the treacherous waters of the Wolf River, putting an end to the life and career of one of the most promising musicians to emerge during the 1990s.

He left behind one bewitching studio album - the pretty-much-peerless Grace, together with a brace of live EPs. His second album was still under construction, and the posthumously released Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk combined rough songwriter demos with more fully realised studio roughs. It showed a talent hungry to develop and evolve.

For an artist who has already been relentlessly packaged and repackaged since his death, this further anthology seems completely pointless. Grace is probably the best and most complete introduction to his work available: anyone who is drawn in that way is likely to swiftly collect the rest. Nevertheless, So Real is being marketed as an introduction to his music for those who've managed to stay out of the way of his mythos over the last decade, and the hagiographic liner notes from everyone from Rufus Wainwright to Brandon Boyd do their best to tell you what to feel.

It might get the attention of a few, but the only carrot on offer to existing fans is a rare live cover of the Smiths' I Know It's Over from a 1995 radio session at Sony Studios; placed last in the running order and designed to wring the emotions ("oh mother I can feel the soil falling over my head..."). With songs such as Sky Blue Skin (described by Buckley bandmate Michael Tighe as one of his greatest songs) still languishing in the vaults, it's hard to see why this live cover merited inclusion.

If you've never heard Jeff Buckley - go out and buy Grace. If you have - there's nothing new for you here. Considering how restless and mercurial a soul Buckley was, it's ironic in the extreme that in death he's been reduced to endless repetition.

Three stars only - not because the music isn't brilliant, but because this is such an unimaginative and cash-motivated release.
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on 13 June 2007
Firstly, I realise this album is seen by many Jeff Buckley fans a way to further line the pockets of record company bosses and I completely understand how people might be protective of the integrity and legacy of such an amazing artist, especially if his music has been a part of their lives for a long period of time. However, I'm going to share my opinions of this release from the prospective of someone who unfortunately didn't embrace Jeff's music until recently. I remember hearing of him first about four years ago but regrettably assumed that his untimely death had placed him on some kind of musical pedestal that perhaps he didn't deserve. A completely ridiculous assumption having not listened to any of his music, but trust me this is a mistake I have paid for, having deprived myself of such rare breathtaking beauty until now.

It was the spellbinding cover of Leonard Cohen's `Hallelujah' the video of which I saw for the first time only recently which finally convinced me that I had overlooked an artist with a voice of peerless beauty and songs which come as close to pure perfection as is possible in music. For those of you who haven't yet experienced the sound of Jeff Buckley's voice then enchanting, ethereal, truly exquisite are probably the best words to sum it up, however, words really do fall short of expressing the sheer beauty of what you will hear. I was literally frozen to the spot, completely mesmerised upon first hearing him sing. This album is a great introduction to Jeff's music, every one of the songs are amazing, more revelatory, more vivid with each listen. From the opening track `Last Goodbye' to the beautifully sorrowful cover of The Smith's `'I Know It's Over` this album is truly spectacular. Rather than being a makeshift greatest hits release with random tracks thrown in to make up the numbers, this comes across as a cohesive unit, with carefully placed songs which flow gracefully. This truly is a fantastic album in it's own right however, I do hope it only acts as a prelude to more extraordinary music, I have yet to discover.
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2007
I bought "Grace" not long after it was first released and while I would agree that it's a tremendous album and Buckley was indeed a true talent I think it's been a tad over eulogised. I believe if Jeff Buckley had not died tragically early then he would have produced work that would have surpassed Grace, maybe even something truly astounding .

As it is this compilation , as has been pointed out by another reviewer, is a bit of a pointless release. Anyone who rates Buckley will surely already own Grace and most probably "Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk" which is patchily superb and/or The Live At Sin-E album which reveals more of Buckley as a personality and lays bare some of his influences. Anyone who doesn't rate Buckley already will in all probability not give a fig about this release anyway and anyone who has,nt heard of Buckley will care even less. So who's it aimed at?

Completists will buy it because of the two previously un-released tracks A live acoustic version of my favourite Jeff Buckley song "So Real" , and a cover of the Smiths fantastic "I Know It,s Over" ( Recorded for a session at Sony Studios broadcast on April 6th 1995 but never actually used in the broadcast) that sadly isn't a patch on the original. The tracks taken from Grace are all from the remastered Legacy edition.

I wouldn't dispute the quality of the music here for the most part and there is no doubt that someone hearing a song as incandescent as "Everybody Here Wants You" for the first time is in for an epiphany that few can offer but anyone as Amazon puts it who is aware of Jeff's importance and music will surely already own most of it. I too would recommend Grace as the definitive starting point , and its telling that this album is weighed heavily in that albums favour and they can then cherry pick other material or just buy the lot .It must be pointed out that Jeff only actually released an EP and one studio album in his short career and there is a lot of filler out there. "So Real" is really more of that than anything else but if it introduces a few new people to Jeff and by proxy to his father then it's release is justified.
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on 11 May 2007
For the Jeff Buckley die-hards:

"Ahhh, the compilation album - Do I buy it or do I not?

I already have all the other albums - I like them all a lot.

The album has 2 songs I don't have - Will they be on iTunes? Probably."

I just think this is a bit of a pointless release.

As the Amazon review says - "So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley' is targeted at those who are aware of Jeff's music and importance but have not, as yet, purchased any of his music."

But those new to Jeff Buckley should really just buy ALL the albums, not this snippets album. Buy them in this order:

Grace - you'll fall in love with it.

Live at Sine - you'll hear the influences and personality behind Grace.

Sketches... - you'll hear the album that would have been.
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on 5 June 2007
A badly assembled collection of JB classics deposited by the money-men trying to wring a few last pennies from his legacy.

Of the 2 unreleased songs, 'So Real' is a great acoustic version and 'I Know It's Over' is a lovely full version of the Smiths song he segued into and out of on some live performances of 'Hallelujah'.

Get these songs another way - it's not about having the plastic packaging after all.

If you're new to Jeff Buckley get 'Grace', preferably the original edition without all the bloated bunting on the 'Legacy' edition. Then find your own path through the rest. Forget what anybody else tells you.

If you're not sure you like it at first, hang on to it - you will eventually
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2012
Before I hear any more cries about should have bought 'Grace' and such, which I fully appreciate, this CD was a gift from one of my dearest and closest friends, himself a singer-songwriter and indeed, does a very fair interpretation of 'Hallejuh'. He's also a last-minute gift shopper and it could have been the only one in HMV, for all I know...

Buckley - and his father - are amongst a group of names I'd only heard about and as male singer-songwriters tend to be the genre I'm not so likely to appreciate as others - and accordingly buy, I had no huge desire to find out. It would be fitting - and expected, perhaps - for me to say that my life was turned around on hearing Mr Buckley and that I play this CD continuously - but it's getting its third airing in about a year and it's never been on my Ipod, either.

Yes, he's got a really impressive voice, he must have been incredible Live and the standard of musicianship is very high. The tunes soar up and down at times like a roller-coaster and it's all impressive as he passionately puts his songs across. I am getting into the lyrics more, this time and maybe these will help me like him more. Maybe he's just a bit too frenzied, at times, not that I'm expecting wall-to-wall easy listening, rock is more my genre anyway but I found his near-wailing at times a mite trying...

However, I do prefer Harry Chapin and Gordon Lightfoot and Billy Joel, plus Nick Drake, of course and a few others but the magic of Jeff Buckley that has so obviously rubbed off on quite a few, just hasn't with me. Whilst the CD's on and playing that's fine, but I'm simply not compelled to listen to him very often.
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on 5 January 2009
Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff Buckley and this album is damn good, i just can't believe they've whacked "includes Hallelujah" on the front in big letters, like the only reason people will buy it is because the winner of some talent show has covered it, they've pissed on the memory of a genius. You don't see "the best of U2, includes with or without you"
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on 21 May 2007
As everybody has said already this release is strange to say the least. I'm a huge Jeff buckley fan I would even go as far as to use the term "die-hard fan". Even so I'm probably not going to shell out for this. I already own all the songs.

Somebody needs to tell Mary what she really wants to do is make a release with some of Jeff's as yet un-heard tracks, such the fabled "Sky Blue Skin", which one of his band mates said was his most important work. "All Flowers In Time" would also be a decent one to release. There is material worthy of a release without recycling what was already perfection.
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on 23 May 2012
Since Jeff Buckley's untimely death in 1997 at a relatively youthful 30, there have been acres and acres of press coverage detailing the talents of this singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Yet in his own lifetime he released very little - 1994 LP Grace, and a couple of EP's. This inaccurately-marketed 14 track 'greatest hits' collection seeks to provide some kind of explanation for this disjuncture. It does it pretty effectively. How? Firstly, by cherry-picking the best of the tracks from his aforementioned debut, including: 'Hallelujah'; 'Grace', and 'Last Goodbye'. The tunes selected from that 10 song album emphasise the power of his soulful voice, and a fondness for classic rock bands, like Led Zeppelin. Secondly, the compilers have incorporated some good quality live material, and a couple of selections from Tom Verlaine-produced demos which would have formed the basis of a second album (and were eventually released as Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk in 1998). Highlights from this tranche include the sensuous 'Everybody Here Wants You', and the respectful live rendition of The Smiths 'I Know It's Over'. But I would hesitate to describe this badly-presented budget-priced collection as a fitting tribute. After all this 2007 release is just the latest in a line of slightly embarrassing posthumous CD's seeking to exploit his 'legacy', a decade after his passing, despite the relatively meagre size of his back catalogue. Perhaps this is because of the rather grisly cult which seems now to surround his memory (and can be witnessed in the hagiographical sleeve notes here), that draws more attention to the mythology of the man, rather than his actual musical product. It is a shame because songs like his breathtaking cover of Nina Simone's 'Lilac Wine' - sadly not included here - are well worth hearing.
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