05/08/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
HOW'S A GUY SUPPOSED TO BROOD effectively when people go around calling him dishy? Jeff Buckley, 28, stirred up the alternative music scene last year with a gaze as penetrating as Grace, his debut album. Critical praise of his voice—an arching, glistening wail—was old news to fans in the cafes of New York City's East Village, where Buckley honed his performances before striking out for Europe. "He's not too macho, not too 'blokey,' " says Laura Lee Davies, music editor of London's Time Out magazine. "To women, he's someone who has feelings and can articulate them." But fame has a B side for Buckley. He dislikes the constant comparisons with his folksinger father, Tim, who died in 1975 of a heroin overdose. And he hates being a heartthrob, though he'll have to get used to it. "You can see a bit of Jim Morrison in there," says Caroline Sullivan, music critic for Britain's Guardian. "And of Byron, Shelley and Keats as well. He's a rocker with soul but also quite juicy."