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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 I guess, given my age and generation, it's not too too surprising that I've heard all I possibly could (at this point) of his son's work, the astounding Jeff Buckley, before I've heard a lick of Tim's discography. But here I am! To say this, in particular, feels like a long while coming is a certain understatement, if there ever was one. And I'm sure older generations who may somehow happen upon my review would surely agree with this. Goin' in blind, but this is still some very familiar territory for me, as I'm a student of this ilk. I was pretty initially struck, before my listen, by the personnel here: Jim Fielder, founding member of the great Blood, Sweat & Tears; Van Dyke Parks, who is an insanely wide blind spot of mine (shall be rectified, I hope); and Billy Mundi, secondary drummer-percussionist of latter-day, first-lineup Mothers of Invention.

And onward we go, "I Can't See You" starting off the affair of Tim Buckley's self-titled debut with a sort of Psychedelic Americana and Folk Rock. Sort of get glimpses of Bob Dylan and Jefferson Airplane here. Even still, therefore fairly straightforward. With soft, personal Chamber-Folk-Pop, "Wings" is fitfully soaring. He has a very sort of classic, traditional baritone voice. This is even more straight, if I can say so.

"Song of the Magician" is low and slow. Sort of troubadour-esque, I guess. Makes sense. Decent instrumentation, anyway. "Strange Street Affair Under Blue" is the first track, I feel, that has a bit more than the usual to offer up. It picks up progressively and persistently. Fun little jaunt. A weird thing to note, and I'm sure it's because I just heard "For Pete's Sake", but something about this reminds me of The Monkees' interpretation of the more distinctly American Psychedelic yield/idiom.

"Valentine Melody" is just plain soft and beautiful. Maybe not a dead ringer for Prog Rock fans, but I hope there's something for you here. "Aren't You That Girl" is back on the up and up, with a very upbeat rhythm and twinkling harpsichord(?), and Tim sings stronger and clearer here than we've heard before. And then... he brings us back down with the spacy, ethereal, if not eerie, "Song Slowly Song"... I quite like it. It's chilling. At just over 4 minutes' length, it is the longest track of the whole haha. Supposedly, I "kissed him when [he] laid still" haha.

"It Happens Every Time" is a real upbeat number as well, though wary and quietly melancholic; definitely one I would recommend here. "Song for Janie" is a real nice, homey kind of number; very familiar somehow. I really love the instrumentation here. "Grief in My Soul" is another inherently familiar, inherently American sort of not-actually-Blues number.

On the backend of this, his debut, we then have "She Is", a folksy, post-Dylan number again. The drums here are raucous and triumphant as it builds toward the end. Nice track. May appeal to Prog-Folk'ers specifically. And finally, "Understand Your Man" is probably the most rockin' number, and very of the time, really.

Overall, hard to say what all will appeal to the average fan of Progressive Rock and most specifically of Progressive Folk, as it were. A lot of Proto-Prog/strictly Psychedelic numbers throughout, and plenty of straighter Rock and/or Folk numbers, as well. A good mix. A good album, regardless of its designation.

DangHeck | 3/5 |


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