Artist: Jeff Buckley
Album: You and I
Release Date: 03/11/2016
After a string of the most tepid posthumous releases of the modern era, Jeff Buckley’s You And I is an absolute treat. Comprised of covers ranging from Dylan to Moz to Sly Stone; it’s evident that there wasn’t much Buckley couldn’t put his indelible mark upon. Showcasing his “café era” of performing, You and I expertly captures Buckley’s vulnerability in being singularly armed behind a guitar and taking on beloved songs of the singer-songwriter’s live cache.
The only thing perhaps more entrancing than Buckley imitating Robert Plant is listening to the songwriter’s hesitation and self-doubt on early workings of “Grace” and “Dream of You And I.” Buckley is a bundle of nerves when describing the actual dream impetus behind the album’s titular track, his voice warbling and banking on his signature song.
Jeff sounds more like the elder Buckley on these recordings than any of the recent compilations since Sketches. There’s something about the younger Buckley’s attitude towards taking on behemoth hits with a suite of 5-minute guitar noodling and sublime vocal aberrations that echo his father’s unapologetic Los Angeles period. Intimidation runs deep in the Buckley genes, even with some of the more flitty Morrisey/Marr tunes, Buckley makes it sound as though he’s been personally offended.
Simply put, You and I is the greatest precursor to Buckley’s infamy and the most appropriate bookend to his seemingly ever-expanding catalogue. This record does more for Buckley’s legacy via the truthfulness of his performance than any of the scatterplot compilations of the past. Skip those and head straight to You and I for the real deal.
– Jake Tully