Review by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Album assigned by: Michael Strait
After listening, all I can do is be negative in a non-understanding way:
- this music can be successful in a trendy (or retro) restaurant, where you go for a hip dinner (music somewhat subdued in the background)
- it can also succeed in a nightclub for an afterparty (substantially louder, making conversation difficult but still making chilling out possible)
- this music can be appreciated by other generations and indeed, other people, as a kind of background music for studying or reading or entertaining guests in your house
- some people may listen to it concentratedly as there are some semi profound lyrics (voice overs, really), and sometimes certain themes sort of develop, not unlike some minimal piano music (think Reich or Ten Holt).
It’s a bit like Steely dan-lite (or Gorillaz-lite): no biting lyrics, rather simple and repetitive rhythm charts, no real musical instruments to speak of and no solo’s. A song like Sisters, I Don’t Know What This World Is Coming To with the title being repeated for 11 minutes overstays its welcome by 8 minutes. To me the instrumental tracks are muzak, to be played in the background of time sharing and real estate commercials, travel programs or ‘win compilations’ of people water skiing, parasailing, reaching tops of mountains at sunsets and the like. But then a track like Grand Central, Pt. II (72 Hrs. By Rail From Missouri) wouldn’t be out of place on The Division Bell either, and is actually my favorite track, probably because it does not have the annoying rhythm machines.
Ultimately it’s an acquired taste I have no interest in acquiring, but then I have no intention of trying. To come back to the positive review found elsewhere: if this type of music (deep house, apparently) is anything for you, this artist might be one to check out.
Review by: Ali Ghoneim
Album assigned by: Alejandro Muñoz G
Review by: Michael Strait
Review by: Dinar Khayrutdinov
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Review by: Avery Campbell
Album assigned by: Charly Saenz
Review by: Andreas Georgi
Album assigned by: Ali Ghoneim
Review by: Kacper Kopacz
1. Mojo Pin 2. Grace 3. Last Goodbye 4. Lilac Wine 5. So Real 6. Hallelujah 7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over 8. Corpus Christi Carol 9. Eternal Life 10. Dream Brother
Essential tracks: definietly Hallelujah, but the rest depends on what hits you hard
I don’t understand how this album has so few views in youtube!!! this generation fucking sucks in terms of music!!
These kinds of albums bring back faith in music. However, there is always the other side – somebody must get drowned to be appreciated. I will only add, that David Bowie called Grace his desert island album and this, I think, sums up this debut album well.
The main thing that should be remembered is that Jeff was only starting. This album sounds complete, but it’s because he was really talented. Listening to Grace is facing mature and well-produced songwriting, however it can be so, cause music circa 1994 was not at peak of it powers. There is nothing from that era worth to be compared to Grace; it’s even more obvious in context of debut albums.
I don’t mean this is the best album of 1994; there are few easy to find candidates for that spot – like Geek the Girl (possibly the best rock album by a woman). I think, that Grace is, simply put, the most impressive/best debut album of the year it was released. It’s unmatched by anyone who tried recording neoclassic-rock album, that year.
And all of this, speaking of music, works truly well – especially in historical context. I mean, starting album on such a high note as “Mojo Pin” and ending it with another highlight “Dream Brother”, must have been appreciated by critic. Jeff Buckley’s tragic death must have brought an attention of worldwide audience. This couldn’t have failed in becoming a commercial success.
There is also, on this album, the superb version of “Hallelujah”, but I will just say it’s one of very few recordings, that could be called the most resonant ever.
So, I wanted to skip comparison of Jeff with his father, Tim. But, I believe that it needs to be mentioned. On his debut album Jeff makes music in manner, similar to his father, although they were composing different kinds of music. Jeff’s music is more hard-rocking. Tim Buckley, who died long before Jeff started recording, was creator of very ambitious psychedelia. Jeff’s Grace is better than Tim’s first two albums, but with Happy Sad Tim reached more advanced level than Jeff at his beginnings. Anyway, both of these artists are recommendable, especially if you like one of them already.
This is it; Grace is one important debut album. Give it a try, because every true music lover should know it. It is quite a fun to also check comments on this album; I can call it a mind-opening experience.
Review by: Francelino Prazeres de Azevedo Filho
Album assigned by: B.B. Fultz
Take “Mercury Blues”, for example: it manages to update an old blues song structure to the 70s quite nicely, but lacks any grit whatsoever. The two blues tracks in the end aren’t bad, but they seem like an afterthought, filler if there ever was any. “Rock’n Me” is actually embarrassing. It tries to emulate the blood-pumping guitar style of Townshend and Hendrix, but it’s so mild, it’s like one of those “parkour fail” videos on the internet, where the person tries to jump from a rooftop onto another and falls in the middle. This is made worse when you consider Steve Miller was godfathered by no one other than Les Paul himself, and was supposed to be a great guitarist. Well, if he was, he certainly didn’t show it here. The guitars were unimpressive throughout the album.
That’s not to say there aren’t good songs here. The title track is very funky, with a catchy chorus. “Dance, Dance, Dance” is a country song that has the kind of energy this album could’ve used more of. The Sam Cooke cover “You Send Me” is the strongest point; it couldn’t have been otherwise given the differences in the songwriting capabilities of the two of them. It is sung in a way that makes it clear that the singer loves the song, and that makes it even more endearing to me. The best Steve-Miller-penned track here is “Take the Money and Run”, a piece of power-pop in the best Badfinger style and backing vocals stolen from “Sympathy for the Devil”. Fly Like an Eagle is much better when it does full pop than when it goes halfway blues.
In the context of all those great 70s albums, even when you just consider pop-rock ones, it won’t stand out too much. It should never appear on a best-of-the-decade list. But that is more of a testament to the amount of good stuff that appeared in that time, not that Fly Like an Eagle is bad or weak. I’m glad I’ve came across this album, a very pleasant listen.