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on 6 October 2003
I've been a fan of Jeff Buckley since 1994 when his only studio album Grace was released. This live album was recorded between his signing with Columbia and Grace. It was originally released as a four track "Live AT Sin-e" EP. It showcased his brilliant vocal range and original interpretation of classics as well as a taster of his own compositions. This Legacy Edition of the Sin-e recordings not only gives you early versions of Grace and Last Goodbye but is an astonishing insight to Jeff Buckley's musical
tastes that ranged from Led Zeppelin to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and everything in between. It gives you a real sense of being there with his infectious sense of humour shining through and he makes the cover versions sound new and fresh with his own original take on classics such as Sweet Thing by Van Morrison and Nina Simone's If You Knew. If you ever wished you could see him live but never got the chance you have now because this will be the closest you will ever get to experience the genius that was Jeff Buckley.
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on 24 December 2005
Its almost like 'Grace' only scratched the surface of what Jeff Buckley had to offer. Tragically his early death meant that he was unable to complete a follow up album in a studio (although 'My Sweetheart the Drunk' does piece together what that might have been like) but what we do have are a handful of live albums that really serve to exhibit the length and breadth of his talents and 'Live at Sin-e (Legacy Edition)' really is the pick of the crop.
Sin-e was a small club where Jeff Buckley would often play sets while still trying to make it and this basic setting really allowed him to learn just what he could achieve with a guitar and that wonderful voice of his.
There are early versions of his songs that would eventually end up on 'Grace' and a whole bevy of ecclectic songs from Bob Dylan numbers to his version of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tune. Even with all these different styles Buckley delivers an accomplished and infinately enjoyable performance and his enjoyment in sharing all this stuff he has inside him comes out beautifully in his music and his witty monologues (musical chairs is great).
It would take too long to mention highlights as the whole double CD is littered with real gems and one time you'll say 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' is the best, then you'll disagree with yourself and go on about 'Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin' or 'If You See Her, Say Hello'. For me the real highlight lies on the bonus DVD and the poem 'New Years Eve Prayer' as it really shows all the sides of what made Jeff Buckley such a capitivating artist as it is at times moving, funny and thouroughly heart wrenchingly honest.
If you own 'Grace', and everyone should, then you will no doubt be desperate to find something more and you can't go wrong with Live at Sin-e (Legacy Edition). It is a reminder of just what can be done through music and how powerful it can be when placed within the hands of a true genius. Wonderous.
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on 13 March 2005
Listening to this CD, however good it is, inevitably leaves you feeling sad. The little humorous monologues between songs and random comments ("Those are nice sandals." "I don't look like Matt Dillon do I?") make you feel as if you are really there - in a small café in 1993. But then the CD ends and you take the disc out, perhaps wiping a solitary tear from your eye.
If you can forget about the dark clouds on the horizon, though, you will be dazzled by almost every song he performs. Jeff Buckley's technical skill on the guitar was fairly obvious on Grace, but being primarily a songwriter, Buckley apparently knew better than to crowd his record with excessive guitar showmanship. In other words, nothing can prepare you for the stunning guitar work on this album.
I remember, back when I was forcing all my friends to listen to "Yeh jo halka halka saroor hai", the first question everyone asks is "How many guitarists are there? 2 or 3?". I then smirk and reply "Only one," watching their faces show first confusion, then awe. He basically carries three melodic and rhythmic lines side by side, without any apparent strain, placing him among the best guitarists I have ever heard.
Of course, the vocals are there to complement the guitar, and what vocals they are. Sensitive as ever, but with a few outstanding flourishes on songs like Yeh Jo Halka Halka Saroor Hai and The Way Young Lovers Do (in which he reaches the highest note I've heard anyone sing - the third C above middle C, I believe). The emotional connection is heightened by the intimacy of the tiny café, so that when you hear climaxes like those on Just Like a Woman and Hallelujah you are completely transported.
The relative looseness of the recording may be off-putting to Buckley newcomers (I know I was annoyed at first by the ubiquitous monologues), but for anyone who already owns and appreciates Grace or the other live CDs, this purchase will be the jewel in the crown of your CD collection.
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on 20 September 2003
Bit of a bonus today. Had Sin-E on order online for ages, never came through. Went to my local store today and they had a copy on the shelves. Went to the counter to buy and was shown this. My cup runneth over.
I expected it to be good, after all it is Jeff, it's hardly going to be crap is it?
Didn't expect it to be this good though. Incredible atmosphere, very intimate, Jeff just pleasing himself, same kind of vibe you get with the great Jazz albums recorded in tiny clubs in the 50's. Same level of casual genius too.
I was a bit worried that this might be the album that tipped me over into Jeff overkill, too much of a good thing as it were, a brief legacy stretched just that tiny bit too far. That was before I played it :). Give it a couple of years and Columbia will probably release a ten cd box set of this stuff, and I'll buy it in a heartbeat.
Absolutely beautiful.
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on 1 November 2003
this double album is over 2 hours long, each song hits the 5 minute mark and passes it easily without you thinking 'whens this song going to end?' or flicking through a magazine waiting for the next track.in between the tracks he talks about something and its funny and endearing each time you hear the monologue.this album is amazing in every way and as someone who doesnt strictly like singer songwriters i see it as a milestone in my collection and hope that i can find other albums (and singers of course) with so much passion,humour,excitement and over all beauty.
it says in the booklet about how jeff has a photographic memory, this only adds to my amazement at this man's skill. on the 2nd cd he sings in pakistani and then makes light of it by singing in a pakistani accent and playing 'smells like teen spirit'.
yeh jo halka saroor hae is the first song ive heard by nusrat fahti ali khan (sp?) and jeff pulled it off brilliantly.what amazes me is the fact that it seems that jeff doesnt know this language yet can pull it out of his memory and play the chords too.amazing!
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on 21 May 2006
This is pure musicianship, free, worth any money spent, probably one of the best live recordings ever, for quality of sound, performance (the flexibility and ease with which he plays is beyond so much) a true talent and inspiration, for poets, lovers, grungers (by his own admission) musicians and everyone in between. I think that people who like soul music should listen too.
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on 20 January 2004
In a lifetime of listening you will be rarely moved like you will by the earthy electric guitar and heaven sent vocals of Jeff Buckley - Live at the Sin-E.
As an older listener who has vinyl copies of his father's work and most of Jeff music in one form or another I was blown away by the magnitude of this collection of music. The intimacy of this recording is a watershed, we often hope to see an artist bear their soul on stage, but it rarely if ever, has been captured in a format such as this.
This album has completed a wonderful body of work by Jeff Buckley. The wait has been worth it. To hear Dylan standards reworked with such imagery and emotion was a pure joy. His music will live on and generations will surely hear the beauty of the man.
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on 3 July 2008
More than Grace, more than any of the other live albums, it is this record that shows to me why the loss of Jeff Buckley was so tragic.

In Live at sin e, Jeff stands in a small cafe, feet from the few punters lucky enough to squeeze in. The sound engineer had to tell him they weren't recording to ease his nerves. Sony execs were in Limos outside having signed him based on similar sessions just months before.

This album is a showcase for Jeff's incredible voice and musicianship, testified by the eclectic repetoire on show. It is also a testament to his great sense of humour, with jokey monologues breaking up the tracks, a polar opposite to the quiet deppresive he is sometimes portrayed as.

A selection of the finest moments:

Be Your Husband is an a capella opener that does enough to let you know you're listening to something special.

Grace is already the classic it becomes on the album.

One famous story from a contemporary of Buckley's is that he once played Strange Fruit 4 times in one night in 4 different keys and 4 different timings, each equally amazing. Whatever version this is, it's certainly special.

It's not often someone improves on Page and Plant, but that's what Jeff acheives with Night Flight.

If You Knew, by Nina Simone, will break your heart. And your throat if you try and sing along!

The Twelfth Of Never is simply beautiful.

Calling You starts, stops with a wrong note and then carries on following what can only be described as a breathtaking vocal impression of Miles Davies' trumpet.

Yeh Jo Halka Saroor Hae is an equally breathtaking cover of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan track. It will blow your mind. Apparently he's even spot on with his pronounciation!

Dink's Song is a belting traditional blues classic that just builds and builds and builds until perfection is attained.

Drown In My Own Tears, like The Twelth of Never is just perfectly delivered.

The Way Young Lovers Do, the first Van Morrison track is sublime. His vocals match that of the great man throughout, before surpassing them with a sensational range-blowing finale.

Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin is a Jeff live classic, again delivered as if it were his own song.

Sweet Thing, the second Van the Man song, for me is better than the first. Starting off waltzing along, it builds to an ending that very few musicians could conceive, let alone pull off.

Hallelujah ends the set, in just the way people would want. It might as well be his song, mightn't it?

Sin e is one of those rare live albums where an artist proves to be even better than their outstanding (if short-lived) recorded work would suggest, a guide to greatness that could have been if just he could've stayed a bit longer.
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on 2 July 2004
This is the greatest insight into what music makes Jeff Buckley tick and it is a hell of a wide range. His voice is superbly displayed with the opening track "Be Your Husband", no instruments included in this track but you don't notice when you first listen. There are a lot of cover versions here, which is what personally love, every track seems fresh, not conventional cover versions either. Very different versions of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn's "Yeh Jo Halka Halka Saroor Hai" and Edith Piaf's "Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin" are two such cover versions that astound, two songs I would never have heard and I now love. I just can't sum up how much I love this man's music, I continue in my quest to understand music a 10th of how much he does. I'm not speechless because it's a contradiction in terms but I'm close.
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on 16 March 2004
If you haven't heard of Jeff Buckley, buy this amazing album anyway; you won't be disappointed. He has by far the most incredible voice I have ever heard. This is an eclectic collection of songs and he sings with such emotion, puts his heart and soul into it, that it is truly overwhelming in places. Words cannot do justice to this album or to Jeff Buckley's voice. Buy it now and listen to it every day, like I do.
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