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Jeff Buckley

Grace Around the World

Jeff Buckley
Enjoyment of this latest in a long, spotty line of posthumous releases depends on your feelings towards the sole studio album released in Jeff Buckley's lifetime. For some, Grace has become a touchstone record that sits alongside Nevermind and OK Computer as one of the most important albums of the '90s. For others, it's a bloated, overrated disc from a guy with a good voice and a famous dad. Grace Around the World is an audio/video package that reconstructs Buckley's debut with live versions of its ten-tracks from TV show and live appearances made while promoting the record in 1994/1995. The DVD offers the original performances interspersed with interviews from the same period, which find Buckley speaking with the kind of dark and serious, "I'm an artist and only other artist can understand me" tone you could still get away with back in the mid-'90s. The performances themselves are also a product of their time, despite pulling off the complex arrangements found on the album with ease and hitting every note with a surprisingly natural voice, the band look like they're trying their hardest to appear as intensely disinterested as possible, a stance Oasis would perfect just a couple years later. Bonus features include alternative performances of album tracks "Grace," "So Real" and "Last Goodbye," the music video for "Hallelujah," a live version of "Vancouver," a song that would later appear on Buckley's posthumously release sophomore album, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. A bonus CD offers audio versions of the live performances from the main feature and two of the bonus cuts. Though Grace Around the World will no doubt thrill Buckley completists, there's little here, in terms of unearthed gems or radically altered live versions, to attract casual fans. (Columbia)
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