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Jeff at his Best,
This review is from: Complete Live At Sine [2CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
For me this is the essential Jeff Buckley. It's amazing how he utilises the guitar to create melody, rhythm, bass and atmosphere all at once. Here, "Live at Sin E", he produces new music that penetrates instantly - totally getting his original compositions across to what must have been a stunned audience.
The versions of "Grace", "Mojo Pin" and "Lover.." showcased on this CD are essential alternatives to those included on the "Grace" album. They demonstrate that the studio record for which he is most remembered (great though it may be) is really just a finely produced replication of what Jeff had already achieved "live and in the moment" with only his voice, his guitar and whatever it was inside him that enabled him to soar to such emotional heights.
Though his own songs were great, he really excelled when it came to cover versions. Here, his readings of "Calling You" and "If You Knew" are both heart-rending and beautiful. The epic renditions of "Sweet Thing" and "Hallelujah" make one wonder what he might have achieved if he had lived on to maturity. His truly stunning take on "Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin" is simply jaw-dropping in its beauty, vulnerability and feeling - I love the way Jeff makes his guitar sound like the merry-go-round described in the song.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this album is the fact that Jeff sounds so youthful and positive and happy in the banter in which he engages between songs - an endearing counterpoint to the mournful nature of many of the tracks. It just makes one wish that this amazing musician was still around. Still, it's great that these recordings were preserved so that everyone may experience the purity and soulful beauty of this man's music.