Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jeff & James

About ten years ago, my husband introduced me to Jeff Buckley's album Grace. I remember the first time I really listened to the lyrics to Hallelujah and realized that it was about King David and Bathsheba--a story I've always been fascinated by. This, on a pop album! (Granted, the song and lyrics are by Leonard Cohen, but still.)

And then there's Lover, You Should Have Come Over (I know I've blogged about this song before, too). Breathtaking lyrics, wonderfully smooth voice.

When people ask, I describe Jeff Buckley as operatic rock, but nothing can do justice to his words and music and voice. You have to hear it for yourself.

I told my husband we needed to see Buckley in concert, when he came back around again. I knew he was going in to record his second album, and I told my own Music Man that this was one show I didn't want to miss--and it had been years since I'd felt that way about a musician.

One day, my Music Man came home and said, "I've got some bad news for you." Turned out that the night before Jeff was supposed to leave to go record his new album, he decided to go swimming in the Mississippi with a friend. He disappeared; and weeks later, they found his body.

I was devastated that there would be no more Jeff Buckley music, but I couldn't help but wonder if the pressure had been too much for him. Grace was so brilliant and moving, and I'd read enough interviews with Jeff that it sounded like the pressure was on...and that he wasn't sure he wanted to do what his recording studio wanted him to do. That implied he'd lost his artistic license now that he'd produced such an amazing album.

I can't help wonder if he meant to follow in his father Tim Buckley's footsteps--a folk singer who also died much too young.

Fast-forward to January of this year. I was surfing around on a gossip website (yeah, I admit, it's a guilty pleasure) and one of them mentioned a musician named James Blunt. Since my husband is usually the one to "find" good music, I like to one-up him sometimes, so I'm always on the look-out for something good.

I popped over to Rhapsody and downloaded James Blunt's Back to Bedlam...and immediately fell in love with it. I felt like I'd found Jeff Buckley, sort of, all over again.

Amazing to me how, shortly after, Blunt's album became "news" and his music was being played everywhere--including as the music for one of the men's figure skaters at the Olympics.

So now, I have Jeff & James, and their two albums that I'll never tire that is still fresh and emotional and brilliant.


Anonymous Tammy soliloquized...

Final testament that James Blunt has "made it":
He's dating a supermodel!

Monday, May 15, 2006 5:33:00 PM  

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