You and I
Sold to you under the lie that this is the raw, early Jeff Buckley you have, if you are the sort of psycho-fan his music attracts, already heard about 80% of this – and it’s not really “The early Jeff Buckley” in that sense, too. He’s still finding his voice, most of this being covers.
You can hear a demo-version of the song Grace – rather good, I guess.
And if most of this passes for sketch-work, Dream of You And I isn’t even that, a spoken-word bore about the genesis of the song – the actual tune arrives later, after this recording. Here we just get a charisma-less sad-sack story.
And so – much like that awful “soundtrack” to the recent Cobain documentary – we’re being given material that wasn’t mean to be out in the wider world; it’s probably worse here given that so much of this is already out there in some shape and form (in most cases almost identical to what you have here).
Wait, wait, some other Buckley bore will be swift to tell you that these covers were crucial components of the early sets he performed on his way to making that one (frankly annoying) album in his own lifetime. And they’ll also tell you, when not nearly choking on their own tongue as they draw back the taste of sweet, sweet saliva, that songs such as Just Like A Woman not only reflect the influence of coffee-house Dylan but more overtly that of Nina Simone.
Yes, but really what this album tells us – this set of demos recorded on the way toward Grace – is that Buckley’s mother has bills to pay. And wants you to pretend that you’re honouring his legacy, and that she is as well, when actually this is cold, cruel, cynical and unnecessary. Not this review…I mean this fucking album. A heartless move. And the rudimentary jangle and do-nothing vocals of songs like Poor Boy Long Way From Home merely serves to suggest talk of Buckley’s prodigious talent happened only after he took a rather long walk for a very short swim.