CD Review: Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley
So Real: Songs from Jeff Buckley
By David Chiu

Jeff Buckley, who died exactly ten years ago at the age of 30, still remains a tremendous musical force. He had only one full-length studio album, Grace, released when he was alive, and it endures to this day as a classic. Buckley left behind many other studio and live recordings that has since been issued or reissued. So Real, this new posthumous collection, is really an introduction for those new to the troubadour’s work. Drawing cuts from Grace and the posthumous releases/reissues such as Sketches from My Sweetheart the Drunk and Live at Sin-e, So Real conveys the two sides of Buckley: the soulful folkie poet (“Lover Come Back,” “Forget Her,” “Everybody Wants You”) and the intense rocker (a blistering performance of “Eternal Life,” and “Mojo Pin”). And what Jeff Buckley collection would be without three of his even greater songs: “Last Goodbye,” the magnificent “Grace,” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallejulah,” which he has since made it his own. Two previously unreleased tracks will make the Buckley completists scouring for this latest compilation: live renditions of “So Real” from Japan, and the Smiths’ “I Know It’s Over.” Passion and intimacy are what comes to mind regarding his performances, echoed by the reckless abandon in his voice and his stirring lyrics. If this collection gets you going, proceed to get Grace, the live collection Mystery White Boy, and, whenever it is commercially released on DVD, the Amazing Grace film documentary.

Watch the video “Forget Her” on You Tube


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