Saturday, November 7, 2015

Perfect Songs: Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley

So this is the first in a new side project on the blog called, Perfect Songs.

I love the album Grace and I adore Jeff Buckley’s voice. Every song on that album is great but it is Last Goodbye that really sings to me.

There is a haunting sound to his voice, made all the more poignant by the fact he is no longer with us.

It’s a sad song I guess, about a man telling his lover they are done.

We’ve all been there, on either side of the equation, sometimes both.

It’s confused yet strong lyrics of things must end yet does anyone really know anyone, do we even know ourselves; all those things we question when love goes wrong are a poetry of beauty within confounding.

The lyrics are great, “this is our last embrace, must I dream and always see your face.”

We’ve all been there, not only in dreams but reality, when you are out and you think you see a lost love in the crowd, their face attached magically to the body of someone else, you blink and they're gone, but the hurt returns like it was yesterday.

When he wails, “Kiss me, please kiss me. But kiss me out of desire, babe, not consolation,” you feel the urgency of his pain and the sexuality of his desire, despite the fact it’s over.

And there’s the music, it’s a romantic ballad set against a rock back drop, this gives it the edge it needs not to be sappy.

It starts with a slide guitar sound into a drum beat with a great guitar riff, it's kinda rocky until his voice kicks in and you know it's not a normal rock song, nor a traditional romantic ballad.

By the second verse, strings blend in and Jeff's voice moves a little higher, the rocky rhythms still in place.

At the 2 minute mark, his voice is gaining height and the strings are getting louder.

The strings make the romanticism soar, and there is a part about halfway through the song where the strings sweep in, the key changes, and Jeff almost wails with them. This section makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck always and almost always brings a tear to my eye. There is something majestic and symphonic about this that just lifts the song. 

And these are the reasons I will never tire of this beautiful song.

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