Picks and Pans Review: Grace

updated 09/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jeff Buckley

With his rugged good looks and achingly tender voice, Buckley may be the best example of genetic inheritance since Mendel played with his peas: The 27-year-old looks and sounds like his late father, Tim Buckley, the charismatic '60s and '70s troubadour who perished from a drug overdose at 28 in 1975.

The younger Buckley adds luster to the family name. Like his father, he sometimes goes over the top with his swooping vocals, but what seemed too eccentric in the '70s sounds truly exciting a generation later. Buckley—who plays guitar, keyboards and dulcimer—wrings every intimate emotion out of his original songs. The pensive lyrics range from one number called "Eternal Life" to a few about fleeting love. ("She's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever," he sings in "Lover, You Should've Come Over.") He also delivers an intoxicating cover of the sexual-awakening classic "Lilac Wine."

Even the album's first eight hummed notes (in the song "Mojo Pin") set a rare mood. They seem to shoot skyward from the depth of Buckley's being, then float down again like a feather on a gentle wind. His father would be proud. (Columbia)"

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