Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
on 28 September 2010
Tim Buckley`s arrival on an already vibrant scene in `66 was a sunburst of vocal and melodic splendour. A nineteen year-old with the face of a god, the charisma of an older man and the voice of a worldly angel, he sounded like nobody else, and record shops must have wondered where to file his eponymous debut - under Folk? Progressive? Rock? The answer to that riddle was/is: Tim Buckley.
From the first notes of I Can`t See You, he claims one`s attention with a muscular, authoritative vocal that gleams from the speakers as if singing itself were being newly minted.
Wings is sheer beauty, an early example of Tim`s way with combining melody & lyric to give the grateful listener something uniquely his own.
Of the other tracks I would highlight Valentine Melody, which is a teenager`s lyric married to music of sensitivity and ardent sweetness; and the brazen crescendos of Aren`t You the Girl, which shows off Tim`s voice and his way with words.
"Aren`t you the girl, who used to call me names?
Aren`t you the girl, who used to play at games?
Weren`t you the one, who used to run and hide?
Now you`re the one who`s crying way inside..."
The whole album is delightful in its slightly arch, gauche way, and I`ve always thought it was by no means the least of his LPs.
Goodbye and Hello is where I depart from the majority - some of whom, to my utter bafflement, consider this his best album!
It has two incredibly lovely songs, indeed classics: Morning Glory and Once I Was, two of Tim`s very best compositions, the former an enigmatic lyric about a hobo who seems to know better than the singer how to behave, the latter - well, words fail me as it is quite simply one of the most beautiful songs I know. These two are worth buying this for, either as a double with `Tim Buckley` or on its own.
I`m afraid the other tracks do little for me. Tim was experimenting, as he never ceased to do, which is laudable, but most of his second LP I find angular, uncharacteristically pretentious and occasionally almost unlistenable. If you knew how much I revere Tim and his music, you`d know how much it pains me to be so honest. I`ve never understood why critics, then & now, rate this as a highpoint in his career. All I can say is, despite two revelatory songs, it is his least effective album.
So, three-and-a-half/four stars for the first, two-and-a-half/three for the follow-up...
This is where one of the most compelling voices in contemporary music began his journey. It got better and better...