Jeff Buckley – You and I
RIYL: The Smiths, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin
Track 1: “Just Like A Woman”
Track 9: “Night Flight”
Review By: Sean Lynch
Jeff Buckley is brought back once again through the release of You and I. The album is a combination of covers and unreleased material from Columbia Records. While the album states that the songs and covers were unreleased, many can be found throughout his live discography, making the album almost a compilation of a compilation.
“Dream of You and I” is one of the only new songs off of the album. The song sounds more like a sketch because of the talking in between the music. The track takes us into the musical process of Buckley and gives a story, but doesn’t give anything to hold onto musically besides the strumming and chorus in between Buckley’s speech of dreaming about seeing a psychedelic rock band at an AIDS rally.
“Just Like A Woman” takes a different form under Buckley’s craftsmanship. While the song does not carry the harmonica or Bob Dylan’s style of vocals, Buckley changes things up with the addition of the electric guitar and makes the song somewhat of his own style. Twisting his falsetto voice throughout, Buckley transforms the song into his vision, leaving a new interpretation with a more stripped down approach.
For Buckley, “Night Flight” is an interesting departure from his often somber tunes. Buckley channels his inner Robert Plant, but does not capture the full scope of his vocals. The rest of the song feels spot on with the unpolished electric guitar mixed with some added twang. While it does not carry the same oomph that the original song has, Buckley once again gives his own twist to the cover and makes it his.
The problem with You and I is that a group of these songs have appeared on live releases. The album comes off as a rehashing of the same material. While this does not fall on Buckley, it is a question of how much more material is left in the archive. While You and I comes off as an intimate peace, it comes with repetition from other posthumous releases that have been put out and takes away from the feeling of intimacy and surprise that is trying to be built.