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Adventures Of Crosley, AAA’s Record Player: Jeff Buckley ‘Grace’

Sarah Lispet Crosley

Welcome to the first ever adventure of our Crosley record player! The AAA crew will be taking Crosley home with them, one at a time, to introduce him to the wide world of vinyl. Each time he gets to come home with someone he will be helping us review a vinyl for you!

So Crosley has officially now lost his vinyl virginity…but don’t worry, it was to a very gentle artist. The late Jeff Buckley’s famous ballad album ‘Grace’ had the honour of doing the rounds with Crosley on a lazy Sunday afternoon at my house.

Chores done and a cup of tea in hand, the Sunday wind-down was definitely kicking in. What better way to wallow in the mood than tuck into a beanbag with this gorgeous album. Released in 1994, ‘Grace’ wasn’t a massive hit at the time. Now it has a special place in the hearts of music lovers everywhere, especially for including Buckley’s famous reworking of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Sarah L Jeff Buckley crosley

Rolling Stone considers Buckley to have been one of the greatest singers of all time and when you listen to this album it’s easy to see why. ‘Grace’ was his only studio album, he was halfway through recording ‘Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk’ when he drowned in a Tennessee river at just 31. While the story may be heartbreaking, Buckley has immortalised himself through this album and it’s a magical experience on vinyl.

Side 1 begins with Mojo Pin, followed by Grace. Like Led Zeppelin mixed with soft lounge music, I was instantly absorbed into a refined but emotionally raw album. The fluttery clean guitar themes and modest vocal acrobatics feel passionate and honest, and the tracks always sound reflective and melancholy under Buckley’s syrupy smooth voice.

Last Goodbye also features on Side 1, a beautiful and heartbreaking song of love lost that has carried many to the other side of a painful breakup. This song especially was made for vinyl and every note resonated through me (I may have had a tear). Lilac Wine follows, a tender piece with Buckley’s voice staying somehow airy and moody at the same time. The line “Lilac wine is sweet and heady” gets me singing every time I hear this song, but it was special to sing to the vinyl version. I almost felt like I was with Buckley in the studio.

“Lover, You Should’ve Come Over is a personal favourite of mine from the album and it sparkled on Crosley.”

The heartfelt song So Real finishes Side 1 in a whirlwind of sensations – dejection, melancholy, and a sensitivity. This one is always amazing to listen to, especially near the end when Buckley belts out those high notes with so much finesse. As I flipped to Side 2 I was greeted with the famous rendition of Hallelujah. Do I even need to review this? Yes, I cried. Yes, it was just beautiful. And yes, it was so beautiful on vinyl.

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over is a personal favourite of mine from the album and it sparkled on Crosley. The layers were all so smooth and affectionate towards one another, and I couldn’t help but join in with the chorus, “Sometimes a man gets carried away”. Corpus Christi Carol shows what Buckley’s voice can really do with its soul-searching softness and warm angelic tone. For this song I had to just sink back into my beanbag, close my eyes, and let the music wash over me.

Eternal Life is the weightiest song on ‘Grace’ with loud bass and gently distorted guitars, yet somehow it still fits with the album’s soft theme, and you can’t listen to this song without stopping what you’re doing and paying attention. Finally, Dream Brother is a raw ending to a beautiful album. It’s atmospheric and light but it emotionally weighs me down. How does Buckley do that so well? This album is indeed very graceful.

If you don’t own this album on vinyl, I’m telling you right now to go and get it. ‘Grace’ is a must for any album collector, but Crosley showed me just how special this album can sound. Buckley’s talent commands my full attention every time, but this time was the most passionate for me. Thanks for the fun afternoon Crosley, ’til next time!

Want the Crosley Cruiser portable turntable? Get yours at Surfstitch!

Grace album cover