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on 6 December 2016
Being one of my favourite albums of all time, I've never understood why people always criticise 'Sketches for My Sweetheart' for not standing up to the grandeur of 'Grace'. It's a sad reflection that this album has been very much side-barred by critics, being palmed off as a mashed together tribute used for publicity after his death, when in fact, it's a posthumous masterpiece. I feel like the emotion portrayed by Buckley in this album, specifically tracks such as Opened Once and Morning Theft, speak volumes of his creativity and ability as a musician. He was an outspoken genius, not truly appreciated during his time, and will be remembered for his music and for his talent. Amazing album.
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on 9 October 2010
Sketches is a 2 disc album, disc 1 is the actual album, and disc 2 is more like a bootleg with some very lo-fi and weird demo versions of unreleased songs.

Disc One (the album)

Just as it's predecessor (Grace), Sketches takes a little while to access, but is enormously rewarding once it 'clicks'. The Sky Is A Landfill is a good song, but a strange choice for the opening track, as it is potentially one of the most progressive and complicated songs on the disc. Sketches is certainly not Grace 2, it is filled with new sounds, much more electric guitar driven, more raucous and harsher, with semi-self-destructive imagery (Nightmares By The Sea, Witches' Rave, New Year's Prayer), and a few tracks of Jeff's trademark echoing beauty which do hark back to grace (Opened Once, Morning Theft).
As a whole, the album is a stunning listen, which holds together as a cohesive whole. Every track stands out both on its own and as a chapter in the 'Sketches' story.

In my opinion, this is a completed album, which would have been released one day whether Jeff wished it or not. The 'Sketches' story, is that Jeff completed his second album, which is the first disc, and then changed his mind and decided that he hated it, and wanted to scrap it. However, his producer and band were perfectly happy with it, and personally as a Jeff Buckley obsessive I have to come to the conclusion that this was Jeff's perfectionism speaking, through the filter of his bi-polar disorder (which he had recently been diagnosed with). I view this album as a completed masterpiece, despite Jeff's personal demons about the project. Listen and experience the album for yourself, and I hope you will come to agree that it truly is a work of art. I also reccomend reading on the background of the album, or watching one of the many documentaries.

Disc 2 (The random stuff)

Disc 2 is not a cohesive album, it is a selection of various tracks which Jeff had been working on with the band (tracks 1-3), personally (tracks 4-10) and one live recording (track 11).
The band recordings only contain one new song (Haven't you heard) which was the strongest selection from the Sketches sessions. They are all enjoyable listens though. The 4-track demos (tracks 4-10) are the most avant-garde part of this disc (or to be honest of anything of Jeff's I have ever heard), and I personally don't listen to them often at all, they showcase Jeff as his most abrasive, aggressive and extreme. When the band flew to join Jeff in Memphis for the recording sessions, these were the songs they were going to be working on, so we can only imagine what these furious demo's would have come out sounding like with the full band working on them. I imagine they would be about as far from 'Grace' as you could get. However this section of the cd is not an easy listen, full of clanking dissonant noises, clicks, indistinguishable chords and often distorted vocals, although they are Jeff, they sound very unlike him, and are my least favourite thing he recorded.
The last track, 'satisfied mind' is one last tip of the hat back to the Sin-e/Grace era, and is a beautiful acoustic Jeff+telecaster finish to the album.

Enjoy :)
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on 18 March 2009
It's so tempting to look at this as Jeff Buckley's second album, but then I have to remind myself that this is a selection of unfinished material compiled posthumously. However, it works so well, it's perfect. Jeff was allegedly unhappy with he had recorded up to his death but I really can't see how the selection of songs on the first disc could be better. This is very different from Grace, not quite as dark and the different influences quite apparent. It is however just as beautiful, a record to change your life. Every track of the first disc is wonderful, particularly 'Opened Once', 'Everyone Here Wants You' and 'Morning Theft'. The second disc gives an intriging insight into what this record would have been like if he had lived. It is one of those tragedies of life that we will never ever know. Seriously, buy this...it will strike your heart and soul in ways you can't imagine.
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on 31 January 2015
Worth buying if only for the last track "satified mind"
Shame it is hidden away on this double cd.
This track has to be up there with Hallelujah
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on 6 May 2016
wodnerful.
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on 9 December 2016
Awesome
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on 29 December 2012
The best farewell album ever...unfortunatelly. I, particularly, recommend this 2 disc version. Yard of blond girls and nightmares by the sea are my favorite.
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on 5 June 2013
Not as good as Grace (obviously) but still a decent album. Worth a listen, especially at this price (second hand).
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on 23 August 2013
Purchased Jeff Buckley's Grace for my husband last year. Got him this one and it was a good vinyl pressing. Different to Grace, but good and different. No 2 albums should be the same so surprised at the number of people making comparisons. Know some of the tracks weren't supposed to be on there and would not have been Jeff Buckley's choice etc. However, it was a good buy and a good gift!
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on 15 February 2013
A taste of what could have been, from the outstanding talent that was Jeff Buckley. It has been said too many times but I can only repeat that he left far, far too soon.
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