Since my last entry, I've moved to Nashville!  Well to be specific, I moved to Franklin for a few months until I find the neighborhood in Nashville that I want to put down roots in (hoping it has that right blend of affordability and inspiration).  I'd only been to Nashville twice...and had never been to Franklin, nor to the apartment I signed a short-term lease for there...

...but what could have been a disaster worked out very well.  Franklin is exceptionally beautiful (if oppressively hot this time of year).

We are mostly settled for now...but I'm on the hunt for a job to pay for my extravagant lifestyle!  It's not all swimming pools and rolling hills--okay, full disclosure we've swum twice in the week we've been here...and the lush rolling hills in TN are awe-inspiring.  But it's a HARD life...

I'm hoping to get this blog back on schedule.  

060: Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994)

I have had an odd relationship with this album.  Back when it came out, I bought the CD for the love of the single Last Goodbye.  I listened to the album a time or two, but didn't get it--so I sold my copy to a used CD store (remember those?) in Boston so that I could buy another trendy (and accessible) release.

A few months later, I happened to see him play an anonymous acoustic set at a cafe in Cambridge (with less than 30 in attendance)...I really enjoyed it--but whispered to my friend during the last third of the set that we should leave.  No excuse.

Some time between then and the year I graduated (1998) a friend of mine suggested that I give it another shot.  I did, and fell madly in love with the album...it may have been around the time he drowned in that river in Memphis in 1997.  Yes, our culture's penchant for lauding artists once it's too late is gross--and I am certainly guilty of it myself.

I was happy to read the 33 1/3 book about this album--and found it to be one of my favorites in the series thus far (having read about three dozen of them so far).  I was interested to learn about Jeff's fascination with predominantly female vocalists (i.e. Nina Simone, Edith Piaf, and Mahalia Jackson)--and also Led Zeppelin and Nusrat Ali Fateh Ali Khan.  I also enjoyed hearing about his days in the village where he crafted his live show and aesthetic.

I hadn't listened to the album through in at least a dozen years.  I was blown away by how affecting it still is for me.  I listened to it as I was approaching the departure of our beloved NYC.  The energy of these songs shored me--the emotion resonated--the sheer musicality intimidated and inspired all at once.

It is an odd album--no wonder it took a while for people to adopt it.  Sure, you have the very accessible (but no less brilliant) Last Goodbye.  But then you have some very psychedelic and challenging rockers like Mojo Pin, Grace, So Real, Eternal Life, and Dream Brother.  There are the (now classic) covers of Lilac Wine (Nina Simone; written by James Shelton), Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen),  and Corpus Christi Carol (Traditional; composed by Benjamin Britten).  Then there are the majestic and brooding original Lover, You Should've Come Over.  

057: The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses (1989)

I had never really gotten in to The Stone Roses before.  Some friends were into them during my college years...but I never felt the need.

I listened a few times a few weeks ago and really liked this album...but thinking back on it now, it's like it didn't leave any lasting marks on my psyche.  

I really liked I Wanna Be Adored (and heard the cover of it by The Ravonettes).  I also liked (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister.  I really loved the grooviness of Shoot You Down.  I also liked the (oh, so 90's) Fool's Gold, but only just learned it wasn't part of the original release.

Verdict

Grace may well be on my top 10 albums of all time list--my desert island list.  He was listed as 39th on the Rolling Stone's best singers of all time list--and it's no surprise.  He was just authentically his own vocalist, and so completely capable of almost anything.

The Stone Roses...I liked, and admit that I might have liked them more had I listened during a less tumultuous time of my life...but, hey, one of of two ain't bad.

Up Next

056: Beck - Odelay (1996)

054: Pixies - Doolittle (1989)

Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed?  Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.

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