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  • Grace
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 1999
Jeff Buckley was best described by Bono from U2, as "a pure drop in an ocean of noise". Wheh you listen to "Grace", you can see exactly what he meant.
The first thing that hits you is Jeff's amazing voice, an instrument of true wonder, he could falsetto to such beauty that it inspired the likes of Thom Yorke from Radiohead to reach new vocal heights on their 95 album The Bends. He could also sing more deeper emotional tones, forever leaving the listener with a thrilling guessing game of where he would take them next. Grace is also enriched by the wonderful songs and arrangements that Jeff used to showcase his unique voice, songs full of love and regret, loss and salvation. It is hard to put into words the deep emotional connection this album brings to the listener.
It is now a standard cross to bear for every new singer-songwriter feted by the music press, to be called Jeff Buckleyesque, it is an unfair term, as nobody could ever match his insightful songwriting and vocal talent. There are some songs on Grace that are simply unmatched in modern rock history. He was with us only for a short space of time until his untimely death in 1997, but Grace will ensure that his genius will never be forgtten.
Grace is an album that should be in everybody's home. A pure drop indeed.
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on 31 May 2003
Forgive me if I can't complete this review with excesses of Jeff-love gushing, because this is probably my favourite album of all time.
We'll start with the voice, shall we? Jeff Buckley has not only inherited his father, Tim's, earth-shattering range, but his incredible emotion and soul, also. It doesn't hit you immediately, as the opening song, 'Mojo Pin', is quite a slow-burner, and the volume and tone build up gradually to reveal a genre-transcending vocal.
The combination of genres is very important on this album, in fact, and although Buckley's influences seem to stretch from traditional folk to the bluesy heavy rock of Led Zeppelin (whom he stated he listened to as a child), his voice carries him through.
The title track, 'Grace', could be described as an uplifting death-plea! - "If it's my time coming, then I'm not afraid." Opening with 'magical guitarness', it has fantastic melody and rhythm, and the squealing climax is completely overpowering.
To have three covers on an album of ten may not appear to be a particularly good advert for Jeff Buckley's immense songwriting talent, but he truly conquers other people's songs in a way that makes you instantly forget other versions. 'Lilac Wine' is so sensitive and emotional. The musical arrangement really fits the lyrics: "sweet and heady, like my life." The vocals on Britten's 'Corpus Christi Carol' is jaw-dropping. How can he sing like that?! But, the most famous of the covers, and deservedly so, is 'Hallelujah'. This could be seen as the album's masterpiece: truly grand and wonderfully charged with the darkest of emotion.
On 'So Real' and 'Eternal Life' we see more of Jeff Buckley's rock side. The latter is delightfully angry - "sounds to me just like a prison for the walking dead" - and the tension is created dramatically through harsher guitars than you expect. The strong/gentle contrasts in 'So Real' run the risk of being manic, but Buckley is merely lost in the emotion, as is the listener. The final track, 'Dream Brother', is a delightfully trippy finale, that acts to calm you down after what has inevitably been an amazing tumult of emotional and musical journeys.
'Last Goodbye' and 'Lover, You Should've Come Over' are my two favourite songs on this album. Both are fairly laid-back pop-rock tracks, and, as ever, the vocal control and melodic construction is fantastic. However, the lyrics really stand out here, with a graceful poetry: "the tear that hangs inside my soul forever", "kiss me out of desire, baby, and not consolation". These are true and deeply moving epics. Buckley speaks to the universal experience of love, and it truly feels like he's singing straight to your soul.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2003
Jumping in staight at the deep end: If you do not own this album, and consider yourself a music fan , then you need to seriously part with your cash NOW.
Jeff Buckley was blessed with one of the most beautiful voices ever heard in the world of music, blending melancholy and sadness with uplifting spirituality in the sound of a note. That is the only way I can possible describe the sound of this man's voice, as he can capture all human emotions in one solitary note.
Many will highlight his encapsulating cover of Cohen's 'Hallelujah' as the standout track from 'Grace' (which I cannot question as it is amazing.) However, Buckley is far from a one trick pony as tracks such as 'Last Goodbye', 'Mojo Pin' and 'Lover You Should've Come Over' (recently covered by Jamie Cullum) offer inspiring lyrics and forever memorable melodies. His use of guitar is subtle but yet mindblowing, with beautiful use of both riffs and melody. And the orchestration does not over-complicate, but underscore his powerful vocal talent.
This album is quite simply perfect, capturing the beauty of Opera, the zest of Rock'n'Roll, and the musical perfection of many a Classical score. It is a fitting tribute to a man who died in such tragic circumstances.
It saddens me that this iconic album is always seen in highstreet stores priced below £10. This album is priceless (forgive the cliche.)
'Mystery White Boy' also highlights his talent, offering a live performance from the tour of the same title.
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on 22 January 2005
I purchased this album purely on a whim...after I saw "Grace" featured so many times in "my top ten albums of all time" on Amazon and read on various internet sites that Jeff Buckley had an ethereal voice rarely heard of in this day and age...and I have to say with a massive degree of smugness that this album was a highly important find for me. Yes, I have fallen in love with bands before...The Doors and Nirvana are favourites of mine, but none have quite touched me in the same way that Jeff Buckley has. "Grace" gets under your skin and in to your bones like no other album I have ever heard. You can live and breathe the music of Jeff Buckley as it positively lives on inspite of the tragic demise of its creator. My life feels better for having the beauty of Jeff Buckley's music in it. This album is quite simply divine. There is one word that constantly crops up in reviews and fan appreciations of Buckley's music, and that word is "beautiful". Buy this CD, sit back and relax and listen to the pure beauty that will fill your ears....Jeff was an incredibly special human being and musician and we are lucky that we have this small snatch of heaven to listen to. RIP Jeff.
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on 29 December 2004
I remember the first time I listened to Grace and being a little lost. The albums scope is just so vast, from the sparse beauty of Hallelujah and Corpus Christi Carol to the "rockin" Eternal Life and So Real. It really took a few listens to appreciate the albums brilliance! If I had to give up all my music but was allowed just one album it would be this. Favourite track personally is So Real, that wild but still controlled ending still gives me the shivers.
The second disc is a tough one, I side with the folks who think Forget Her should've remained unreleased, great song though it is. The rest of the disc is great especially Hank Williams' 'Lost Highway' and Bob Dylans 'Mama You been on my mind' The "road" version of Eternal Life though really kicks ass!
Everyone should give this album a chance.
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on 11 February 2006
I first heard the single Grace on XFM a couple of years ago, but it took some time to track down as I never heard the artists name.
When I finally bought it, I couldn't belive that I had not heard of him earlier. This album is amazing & that is no exaggeration! Every track is fantastic & so emotional. I could go on but it is something you need to find out for yourself. I am stunned at the amount of people I speak to that are fans of his music.
I wish that I had heard this earlier but am glad that I found it. Definitly an album that I will continue to listen to & love.
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on 7 September 2004
I finally decided to take the plunge and buy Grace when a friend recommended it. After realising a Legacy edition was been released at a reasonable price I thought it would be a good introduction.
Well first of all the actual record. What can I say? It has certainly fullfilled my expectations. I dont think a record has struck me so immediately since I listended to 'Nevermind' for the first time a few years ago. Jeff's sincere songwriting and beautiful compositions set the scene for an incredible journey of which you dont want to escape. Some of these songs are just vital:- 'Last Goodbye' 'So Real' 'Grace' 'Halleljah' are incredible and leave you reaching for the repeat button. Beautiful.
The bonus disc had a lot to live up to but I took it for what it was. These are a great set of songs a lot of which show Jeff just having a good time and experimenting with some cool cover versions. It also includes the enchanting 'Forget Her' which was originally pencilled in to be on 'Grace' but Jeff removed it at the last moment. Some of the remixes have already been included on the 'Grace EP's' so some people may already own them. The only thing I would of liked to have seen added on here is Jeff's cover of Pearl Jam's 'Indifference'.
The DVD has an updated version of the 'Grace' documentary that has some good interviews although it is quite short. Jeff's insight into his music and life is definitely a highlight. Also the footage of him rockin' along to 'Cherub Rock' by The Smashing Pumpkins.
The booklet is described as a 'deluxe 24 page booklet' which is perhaps slightly exagerrated but does contain a interesting guide to the songs on the bonus disc.
5 Stars.
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on 17 November 2003
When Jeff Buckley tragically drowned swimming in the Mississippi he left behind a legacy and a legend encapsulated in this his only 'finished' album.
'Grace' comes breathtakingly close to perfection in a way that so few albums can claim to do. If you're looking for a comparison it is on a par with the Beatles 'Revolver', the 'Stone Roses' self-titled debut or more recently Tom McRae's 'Just Like Blood' - you need to buy this album (five pounds in most shops at the moment) to truely appreciate its greatness.
The tragically poignant 'Last Goodbye' is a work of pure musical genious, Jeff's incredible voice soars above the hypnotic guitar riffs and pulsating drum beat. Buckley, son of the legendary Tim, inherited his father's 7 octave vocal range and he shows it off time and again here.
The closing 'Dream Brother' provides a stunning finish to the album, its seductive allure builds to a pulsating climax...words can't do it justice.
Please please please add this to your collection, if you ever hold a dinner party it simply oozes class and excellent musical taste. Jeff, if you're up their in heaven this LP may well have been your last goodbye, but you certainly won't be forgotten.
ps - other lesser known 'must have' albums include:
Portrait: Celtus
Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake
New Adventure's in Hi-fi: REM
August and Everything After: Counting Crows
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on 19 July 2006
This album is a must for all those who appreciate good music and genuine talent. Despite having it in his genes, Jeff was more or less a self-taught who experimented and enjoyed many types of music, and it is evident in this album from the heavy rock tones of 'Eternal Life' to a cover of Britten's Corpus Christi Carol. Indeed I think Buckley acheived with Coen's 'Halleluiah' what Hendrix did with 'All along the Watchtower' i.e totally superseded the original.

The music is the type of music that the more you listen to it the more you discover the various 'layers' in each song - the composition and arrangement of each song is amazing. Jeff have diffrent textures and tones to his voice too, which make each song - especially Grace - a vocal journey, no one I can think of - even the likes of Bono could compete with the various tones and textures in Jeff's voice. Jeff's voice is unique.

It must be remembered that this album was recorded during the 'Grunge years' of the early 1990's initally critics were disappointed with Jeff's album because he did not follow the Nirvana tend. I am glad he didn't - instead he gave us one of the most important albums of the 1990's.

It is often said that the likes of Coldplay and Keane owe a lot to Buckley, but in truth Buckley despite his death and the album being released over 12 years ago is still the grand master, and in lots of respects his work is even ahead of many talented artists today. A unique talent who had so much more to give...I put him up there with the likes of Dylan and Lennon. His influence on music will be felt for many decades to come.
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on 28 January 2006
His music encourages us to do something with our creative potential and not allow the dictates of money; ego and society take away our dreams. His songs are raw, unresolved and painfully vulnerable, so unlike the guarded, politically and socially correct words of most performers today whom we mistakenly aspire to be. There is no safety net here, be prepared to get your heart luminously ripped out.
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