Posthumous releases can sometimes be dicey. There can be a tendency for surviving friends and family to scrounge up the artist's every last recording and release them all at full price. Recording quality and artistic merit can thus vary widely.
No artist exemplifies this better than Jeff Buckley, the singer-songwriter who accidentally drowned in 1997. It seems that every few years a new collection of undiscovered demos, covers or musical sketches is found and released as a “long lost” album. The latest iteration is You and I which features a mix of all of the above.
Despite some questions I have about the motivations behind releasing this material, ultimately I enjoy listening to these tunes. The recordings feature sudden starts and stops, spontaneous A Capella sections and other quirky little gems. At one point in “Dream of You and I” Buckley stops to talk about a dream he recently had. The recordings are charming and very intimate, which suits his voice quite well.
I have to wonder what Jeff Buckley himself would think of this though. Based on his small sample of studio recordings it seems he was quite a perfectionist. Would he really want to charge full price for some of these sketches? Would he even want to release some of these songs when they are full of mistakes? We will probably never know. In the meantime, I will listen again to his cover of “Just Like a Woman.”