Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Music Musings- Jeff Buckley

Today is gloomy and depressing. My whole body hurts from working out last night and I really could use some Vicodin. Naturally, this is the perfect backdrop for a Jeff Buckley binge. Oh Jeff, you were so brilliant. Your songs speak to the millions of people who’ve experienced love in its most dismal forms: heartbreak, cheating, disenchantment, fear of commitment, unrequited love. Sometimes I just need to feel miserable and you always do it for me. But this is not some self-indulgent, “oh you should feel sorry for me” post (well, because I thoroughly enjoy my misery, thank you very much!)

I’ve talked about music a little bit before and now I’d like to expand on that, specifically on Jeff Buckley. His music touches the heart and stirs the soul. He’s undoubtedly one of the most talented singer/songwriters of the 90’s and it’s just so tragic that his career was cut short by a freak accident. Buckley’s vocals are alternately ghostly and desperate, as if they’re being weighed down by some inner tumult that has no other way of being released. That’s a common theme in his lyrics: turmoil, intense depression and elation, lust, and love. His songs aren’t always smooth, in fact, they are often jarring: lyrically and musically.

Despite The Tears is a good example of this. The song starts out melancholy with:
He found a letter from his lover
She said she’s never coming home
His things were lying on her doorstep
And his tears they fell like rain
Like in a lot of his songs, the lyrics tell the story of a love gone wrong with a tone of regret and relegation to the status quo permeating throughout. The track culminates with a wrenching repetition of “despite the tears” and “he would always lover her” that is contrasted with the musicality of the rest of the song.

Buckley’s music really speaks to my tormented inner self. Lord knows that I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my love life and I guess it’s nice to know that someone out there feels the same way.

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