Elegance & Grace – Jeff Buckley

Can you accurately pinpoint the exact moment when everything you knew about life was shifted dramatically to the left? For me, it was the moment I heard the elegant chaos that was Jeff Buckley’s voice. Sincerely, the moment I heard the bend and twine of his lullaby over a syrupy love song called “Everybody Here Wants You”, I was no more good.

There’s so much to say about this man, so much to love and appreciate of his grandeur that words alone are sure to almost cheapen his exceptional talent. However, I’ll try my best to leave anything erroneous — meaning anything that’s not complete and utter adoration — away from this piece.

I, like so many, came to Buckley’s surreal magic after his death, ten years afterwards to be exact. I was all a quiver with the soul mastery of Lewis Taylor [1]. It was on his second album I heard the aforementioned song and thought, “Who exactly writes this stuff?” In my reverie over Taylor, I, of course, assumed that he was the penman of such unparalleled love. However, it would be an outing with some friends that allowed me the opportunity to hear the original artist behind the sugar and spice of “Everybody.”

When I heard the gritty pop of Buckley’s voice, I think my universe was tilted somewhere between off-kilter and spread-eagle. I had to know who he was. My first bit of research revealed another Buckley, one of equal beauty and vocal depth. From there, I was hit with a pain that I didn’t know existed in me — loss of someone that I’d never have the chance to know personally. It may seem a queer thing, being infatuated with someone whom you’ve never and will never meet. But that voice! That uncompromising artistry! How could it be taken from me before I even got the chance to taste it, fully absorb its scent and breadth?

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