Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Grace - Jeff Buckley

On August 1994, Jeff Buckley issued Grace, the only album he would be able to complete before his death in 1997. His cover of Bob Dylan's "Hallelujah" is probably the best interpretation of this song, and definitely the best song of the album.

We don't talk a lot about Buckley these days, but at one point he was considered one of the best musicians of history. It's anybody's guess if he would have reinvented himself or he would have become one more singer had he lived longer.

Historic memory tends to be unfair with artists: writers who are very successful during their lifetimes are forgotten on day one after their death and viceversa. And that's what happened to Buckley: a lot of musicians sounded like him in the 1990's and his premature death prevented music fans from that time from giving him a second chance. In fairness, he became famous shortly after his death, and then he fell back into the common stock of singers of the 1990's.

Today, Buckley is one more reference of the music that was done in the 1990s. The BBC uses his song "Grace" to teach people about rock music, and a NPR intern finds him generic, as I think most music listeners of his generation would do.

I still recommend Grace as the testimony of an era, the 1990's. Also, music and art in general tend to be cyclical: I'm pretty sure a couple of years from today someone will look at Buckley and will think he's great. Then, this blog will become cool and I will have thousands of visits. Looking forward to it...

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