No. 6- Grace
Artist: Jeff Buckley
Year Released: 1994
I really got into this album...
Favorite songs include...
“Lover, You Should've Come Over"
Why it’s so good...
Jeff Buckley is one of the most under-rated artists of all time. His only complete studio album, Grace, is one of the most under-rated albums of all time. There's a lot to mention about why Jeff and this album are so great, but I'm going to focus on the most dominating aspects.
First, the man's voice is unique and full of more emotion than anyone I've ever heard. It's incredibly haunting while still beautifully vulnerable and sweet. The guy can seriously sing.
Secondly, you can't talk about this album without touching on Buckley's cover of the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah". Why? Because it's one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Honestly. These days there are dozens and dozens of covers from all sorts of artists spanning several genres. And I have gotten into plenty of arguments with people who claim the best version is by so-and-so, not Jeff Buckley. But the fact of the matter is that every artist after Buckley (most of the versions you hear now) are just re-creating the masterpiece that Buckley composed. They're covering Jeff, not Leonard. It's a flawless track in every aspect and having it in the very middle of the album perfectly structures the mood and emotion of the rest of the album around it.
And lastly, and most present on the album, is the haunting reality of Jeff Buckley's death not long after the album's release. Drowning in the Mississippi River, he left this album as his legacy. The songs are packed with lyrics about death and mortality and there's a haunting presence in each recording, as if you're not merely hearing an album recorded by a man who later passed away. Instead it's as if you're listening to a piece of art from the mouth of Buckley's soul still lingering about.
It's absolutely beautiful. It touches your soul and changes you.
Don't think that Buckley's death brings a darkness to it, rather realize that it brings with it a spiritual quality.