“Grace” was to be Jeff Buckley’s one and only “proper” album. It was not that successful when it first came out (1994), but the early demise of Jeff brought a lot of notoriety to it – a notoriety that it actually deserved the first time around. The music is quite hard to classify, and that might have been the reason why the buying public was not that keen on it when it was released. The only was to describe Buckley’s music is by making a multiple reference, with the gentleman that defined his music as “folk/pop-rock with a slight Goth touch” coming near the mark. If that label is a bit hard to get around even today, imagine what it must have been like in the mid-90s when genres like Grunge were the order of the day. Jeff was clearly ahead of the curve.
The first track is not really a great song, but it is a great way to start the album with its alternation between dreams (as represented by the lulling verses) and reality (as portrayed in the increasingly-loud choruses). The disc on the whole has an incredibly oneiric quality, and that is why such a song works perfectly as an album opener. The song is left to interpretation, with Buckley himself having explicitly linked it to heroin at least once.
The album itself does not hit a high note until “Last Goodbye” comes around (track number 3). I have already talked about the song in the general introduction, and there is nothing to add except maybe saying that it captures the humanity of Jeff’s voice like nothing else. The song gained a lot of notoriety upon being used in Cameron Crowe’s film “Vanilla Sky”, too. I don’t know how many of you are aware that “Vanilla Sky” is actually a remake of a Spanish film named “Abre Los Ojos” – the Spanish version gets the nod when it comes to storytelling, but Crowe’s version (as you would imagine) is unbeatable musically. Continue reading