Saturday, December 16, 2006

Beware the bottled thoughts of angry young men...

#13 - Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk (Jeff Buckley) 1998

We are quickly approaching hallowed ground here with this pick. While there's just too much to say about this album, it can be summed up in one word: mood. Sketches is a raw, moody trip inside the mind of a man I consider to be a genius. What is even more amazing is that this colorful collection of fantastical stream-of-consciences ("gold sharks glittering"; "bubble gum, coming down just like a big red coal"; "you're a woman, I'm a calf. You're a window, I'm a knife. We come together making chance in the starlight") is that it was recorded on a four track while holed up in an apartment in the last years of Jeff's young life. We may never know what Jeff Buckley intended out of these tracks as they were graciously released (double-disc) after his tragic drowning in 1997, but we can certainly feel what he was trying to make us experience. You may fill in your own descriptors here, but consider this album like one big mood ring as you listen:

The Sky Is A Landfill (dread)
Everybody Here Wants You (sex)
Opened Once (innocent vulnerability)
Nightmares By The Sea (evil)
Yard Of Blond Girls (lust)
Witches'Rave (curiosity)
New Year's Prayer (escape)
Morning Theft (loss, misunderstanding, and redemption)
Vancouver (jealousy)
You & I (solitude and emptiness)
Haven't You Heard (anger)
Satisfied Mind (peace)

Some of these songs will remain some of my favorites of all time (Nightmares, The Sky Is A Landfill, Vancouver), and I will always consider Morning Theft to be one of the most gentle and beautiful love songs I've ever heard. Buckley does things with tempo and style on this album that are not seen anywhere else, most likely because he had his whole life (and mind) to himself. Sketches shows just how talented Jeff Buckley was, and taps, if just for a moment, his deepest imagination.

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