Spin - p.85
"[B]lending folk, jazz, and avant garde sensibilities into a searching, mystical style..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.71
"[E]ven when the songs were tailored for Top 40 radio, like 'Aren't You The Girl' and 'I Can't See You,' Buckley refused to be confined..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.863 stars out of 5
-- "TIM BUCKLEY is a much underrated album with beautiful songs such as 'Wings' and 'I Can't See You,' where that enthralling tenor voice was heard for the first time..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.1044 stars out of 5
-- "Ostensibly a folk-rock album, oft-stereotyped as such, in truth TIM BUCKLEY turns the fledgling genre inside out."
Personnel: Tim Buckley (vocals, guitar); Lee Underwood (guitar); Van Dyke Parks (keyboards); James Fielder (bass); Billy Mundi (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, California.
Tim Buckley was only 19 when he recorded his debut album, and while it was something of a revelation in and of itself, it was just a hint of what was to come. Buckley was initially inspired by the troubadour-folk poet approach of Orange County contemporaries like Jackson Browne and Steve Noonan, as well as the folk-jazz style of Fred Neil, but he leans much more toward the former here. The spirit of the times is undeniable in the arty folk-baroque arrangements--Buckley's right-hand man, guitarist Lee Underwood, underplays his jazz leanings, and Van Dyke Parks sounds right at home contributing harpsichord and celeste.
Despite all the sonic frippery and Buckley's mannered, embryonic style, there's real artistry happening here. Buckley's unconventional harmonic sensibilities and beautifully elastic tenor are a delight, and the relative simplicity of some of the tunes is all the more endearing in hindsight. This isn't the Buckley album to begin with (HAPPY SAD takes that honor), but it's definitely one to go back to.