MGF Reviews Jeff Buckley – Grace Around the World

Jeff Buckley – Grace Around the World [CD/DVD]
Sony Legacy (6/2/09)
Rock / Folk

It’s been a couple years since I’ve listened to Jeff Buckley, and after just hearing his voice again, it’s amazing how unique and intense it still comes across. Grace Around the World is the name of the new Buckley DVD/CD package executive-produced by the late singer’s mother, Mary Guibert, chronicling the Grace world tour (1994-95). Featured performances take place in U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan and France with coverage of both concert and television locales.

Out just in time for this summer’s fifteenth anniversary of the release of Grace—Buckley’s only LP released while he was still alive—the first disc is a DVD with ten songs and seven more listed under “bonus features”. Everything adds up to just under two hours of running time. The second disc is the audio counterpart of the first, matching tunes one through twelve. All of the footage except for one song is previously unreleased, and a fifteen-page full-color booklet is also included to help navigate through the material. There is also a special, limited edition of Grace Around the World, including the one-hour documentary, Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley.

These live recordings—despite the audio quality being simple and low-budget—are excellent and perfect examples of the intensity and gift Jeff Buckley had on stage in front of an audience. Mad brilliance would describe the high shrills and sometimes unorthodox vocal crooning of an artist whose popularity continues to grow all over the planet over a decade after his death. His albums still sell hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide every year, especially in the U.K. and around Europe as well Asia.

There are two versions of the opening tracks “Grace” and “So Real”, which is a definite plus. His infamous version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from MTV Japan is included as, well as a moving “Mojo Pin” and the hard-rockin’ “Eternal Life”. “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”, is from the Chicago show at the Metro, and the only song previously released.

This collection is an obvious must-have for all Jeff Buckley fans and those who have heard the name but not the music. Now is the time to meet or get re-acquainted with the amazing falsetto and original chord-melody of a talent that was taken from us way too soon.