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World Music CD Reviews North American

Tim Buckley

By Jill Ettinger
Published April 24, 2007

The Best Of Tim Buckley
Elektra

Tim Buckley recorded nine studio albums between age 19 and his death at 28. The Best Of Tim Buckley contains 18 popular tracks, but to the hardcore, most of what he recorded was nothing short of gold. There was an unmistakable richness and depth in Buckley’s five-octave vocal range (“Once I Was,” “Strange Feelin’,” “Dolphins”), yet he glided through songs with his improvisational style and peculiar song arrangements. His unique relationship with the world was present in his songs, his emotional deliveries perhaps, portending his fate. Best known for albums Goodbye And Hello and Starsailor, Buckley longed to experiment (Lorca) and did so at the expense of his label contract (and many of his fans). Nevertheless, this genius left a legacy, a style and a grace that was only ever closely touched by his own flesh and blood: his late son Jeff. Both shared aptly tragic departures and eerily brilliant careers.