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Tim Buckley - Tim Buckley CD (album) cover


Tim Buckley


Prog Folk

3.02 | 43 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review N 233

Tim Buckley was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, who was born in Washington D.C. His music and style changed considerably all over the years and in the early days, he released his first two studio albums, this eponymous debut "Tim Buckley" and his second "Goodbye And Hello" more oriented to the folk rock music. As he was a very eclectic musician, all over the time his music incorporated other styles like jazz, psychedelic, funk, soul and avant-garde. Tim Buckley had also a powerful and unique voice and due to his voice he attracted attention because of the sharp of his voice which approached him as a coral singer, what made him also a great and a very special vocalist. He was able to sing in lower register and higher falsetto in equal measure as an evolving "voice as an instrument" sound.

"Tim Buckley" is the self titled debut studio album of him and was released in 1966. Most of the songs were co- written by Tim Buckley and his friend Larry Beckett, while they were in the high school. Larry Beckett is a poet and songwriter, best known for his collaboration with his colleague and friend Tim Buckley in the latter years of the 60's.

For this album, Elektra put together an amazing team to record the album. They began by bringing in the producer Paul Rothchild and the engineer Bruce Botnick to help Buckley with the sessions. They were the team behind The Doors. About the musicians who colaborated with him, they brought the guitarist Lee Underwood, the keyboardist Van Dyke Parks, the bassist Jim Fielder and the drummer Billy Mundi. And if these weren't enough, Jack Nitzsche provided the string arrangements. So, everything was in place. It couldn't fail. But it did. The album only sold about 20.000 copies.

"Tim Buckley" has twelve tracks. The first track "I Can't See You" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a very energetic good song. This is a very personal song addressed to his wife and where we can see a personal criticism to her. The second track "Wings" written by Tim Buckley is a ballad calm and beautiful with the use of an orchestra. It's one of the stands out songs of the album and is one of the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard. The third track "Song Of The Magician" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a very beautiful song, one of my favourites, and is also one of the highest points on the album. The fourth track "Strange Street Affair Under Blue" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a song where the rhythm will increase as the song progresses. It's a song that sounds as a Russian melody and which also reminds me the movie "Zorba The Greek" with its fast and slow dances. The fifth track "Valentine Melody" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a simple, peaceful and calm ballad but it has nothing more special, really. The sixth track "Aren't You The Girl" written by Tim Buckley is a beautiful song with good rhythm and is amongst the songs that add some variety and diversity to the album. The seventh track "Song Slowly Song" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a soft psychedelic song with some strange noises. It's a very interesting song with a musical arrangement more progressive indicating what he would do in the future. The eighth track "It Happens Every Time" written by Tim Buckley is a very beautiful song with good rhythm and with also an orchestra that make wonderful use of string arrangements to achieve a nice, luscious and romantic sound. The ninth track "Song For Jainie" written by Tim Buckley is a good and interesting ballad. It's another song of a personal nature but this time it's a song addressed to his lover Jainie. Despite the lyrics be very personal, it's well written enough to be interesting to everyone. The tenth track "Grief In My Soul" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is, in my opinion, a weaker song with poor interest. This is one of my less favourite songs on the album. The eleventh track "She Is" written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett is a very simple and nice ballad but a little repetitive and that eventually is a bit boring. This is only an average folk song. The twelfth track "Understand Your Man" written by Tim Buckley is a good rock song typical of those times and is a song with a more instrumental nature indicating what would be his music in the next future. It's another song also with personal lyrics, probably addressed to his wife Mary Guibert and his lover Jainie.

Conclusion: "Tim Buckley" was released in 1966 and isn't properly a true progressive album. However, is a good and interesting folk album with some good musical moments, very simple and nave and it's, for me, very pleasant to hear. This album belongs to his folk musical period with his second next studio album "Goodbye And Hello". However, in my humble opinion, "Tim Buckley" is very far from the musical quality of "Goodbye And Hello". "Goodbye And Hello" is much more creative and mature, and is also a fantastic psychedelic/folk album, with some great, sophisticated and complex musical compositions, and where Tim Buckley demonstrates that he is a great musician and is the owner of a fantastic, special and unique voice. Nevertheless, "Tim Buckley" remains the most straightforward and folk-rock-oriented of his albums. The material on it has a lyrical and melodic sophistication that was astounding for a 19-year-old person. So, it's not his most adventurous album, but it's one of his most accessible, and retains a certain fragile beauty.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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