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Album Reviews

Greetings From LA: Tim Buckley

By Unknown

Greetings From L.A shows a fourth transition in style for Tim Buckley. A million miles away from its predecessor Starsailor.

All traces of his folk roots are gone, replaced by sexually charged funk, rock, soul rhythms and vocals. In short, this album is one horny beast, the songs are almost exclusively about getting down and dirty.

Had you been told at the time of the lyrically innocent, sweet voiced first album Tim Buckley that this is what was to be just four years down the line, you would not have believed it. But he pulls it off and does it damn well.

The lyrics, although mostly about sex, are not filled with the same old, same old clichés that were churned out by many rock icons at the time. Tim himself said 'All the sex symbols from Elvis to Jagger had never said anything dirty or constructive about making love, you could never learn anything from any of those songs'.

Tim's unique, electric vocal performance also serves to give an added intensity to the songs. Although completely different in style, on Greetings From L.A Tim combines the funk with the improvisational vocal techniques he developed on avant garde jazz albums Lorca and Starsailor.

This album was slammed by some who did not appreciate the more light-hearted funkier sound. It's part of a trio of albums that are regarded by some as 'sell outs', unfairly so, I think. There are some really stand up tunes on this album.

Sweet Surrender a powerful, soulfully sung story of infidelity. Night Hawkin' an extremely funky, rhythmic tune about being an L.A cab driver with a knife brandishing, wino, Vietnam veteran for a fare. Hong Kong Bar, a rolling acoustic number, is the most chilled moment on the album.

Make It Right closes the record fittingly with a latin sounding, dramatically sung tale of wanting to be, well, spanked by a hooker basically. Listen to this album you?ll want to go out, hit the sauce and be very, very bad indeed.

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