It is no doubt that Jeff Buckley’s career was short lived, but eternally impactful. Despite that recently there’s been posthumous songs that have been dug up, (the recently released album ‘You and I’), his first and only album ‘Grace’ remains engraved into our lives. Jeff’s sweeping and melancholic vocals cast some kind of dazzling spell on his listeners, and that might just be the reason why his music never gets boring. He might’ve had the most astounding vocals that toppled from the heavens, and for this we might even consider him lucky for making history with his only album ‘Grace’, but his ending was rather ill-fated.
Jeff Buckley was definitely handed down the gift of becoming a memorable artist. His father was Tim Buckley, not much of a father to him, and therefore Jeff avoided any chance of being compared to his father. It’s understandable, but I doubt that Tim Buckley was ever an actual shadow on Jeff’s music career. However, it must’ve been the absence of Tim that aggravated Jeff’s tortured soul further, and you can hear this echoing in his music. It’s not only this personal battle that Jeff had to face during his upbringing, not at all, in fact a lot of his music comes from personal experiences with friends, lovers, and himself. He is indeed a mysterious man from what we can see, rarely would he get too deep into his personal life during interviews, even if he were asked about. Who knows what Jeff was really like, what his final thoughts were as he drowned in the Mississippi river with his boots sinking him down to his death.
He had a bright future ahead of him, and he left us when he was in his prime. Such a cliffhanger, because there was this notion present that Jeff would release more astounding hits. It was this that made his story bittersweet and unlucky. Today all we have is his music, his legacy. His beautiful words ascend from the heavens, and like tear drops they fall softly, inspiring and fulfilling those who search for art with meaning. There is so much interest for Jeff, because he slipped away from us far too fast. Imagine if Jeff would have lived onto today successfully; what would his music be like? In some way it must’ve been sheer fate that such a dreadful tragedy would occur to somebody as talented as Jeff, especially at such an early and primal point in his rapidly ascending career. There were all these preconceived expectations after he seduced us with his debut ‘Grace’, but that was all there was, and perhaps his departing from earth meant something for his music. Jeff was always stressing the fact that it wasn’t about him nor his heritage, it was about the music, only the music. Perhaps, as an audience we were becoming more obsessed with Jeff himself and his father, rather than his music. His death left us pondering his legacy, his lyrics and his saintly vocals, which have covered our world with sublime beauty ever since. But we still question what it was really all about…
“I don’t want my reputation to take me over, I just want to be judged on my songs. I want people to come and see me because they want to, not because fashion dictates it.” -Jeff Buckley