Dream Brother- The Songs of Tim & Jeff Buckley

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, September 7, 2006

Tribute albums are always a strange thing to take a look at, simply for the fact that listeners never quite seem to know what to expect. But, Dream Brother actually has a pretty good reason for existence when compared to tribute albums for other bands. This album compiles various artists performing their renditions of the songs of Tim and Jeff Buckley, who both were very talented songwriters (Jeff being Tim’s son) and who also met unfortunate ends. True fans of the Buckleys will call this album a travesty, but those who dive a little further will find a unique compilation of music that’s worth a listen.

All of the songs on this disc are very mellow, and many of them are acoustic. Although I am not entirely sure how all of these songs originally sounded (admittedly I am not that familiar with the works of either artist), but if the originals sounded anything like these renditions then it is clear why they are so celebrated. Each artist has a unique vision of how each song should be, but some of them are fairly close to the original version. But whether you’ve heard of either of the Buckleys or not, these extremely light songs will appeal to just about anyone.

Another flaw with most tribute albums is that many of them feature obscure groups that barely anyone has heard of. But Dream Brother contains some very well known names such as Sufjan Stevens, Tunng, and many other artists that fans of indie and lighter rock acts should know. And even for those who don’t, an appreciation of acoustic rock/folk style music will find this album enjoyable.

Most tribute albums have the tendency to fail horribly, but this isn’t one of them. Dream Brother is an excellent example of how to make a compilation that honors its subject so well and at the same time provides even more beautiful music. While some long time Buckley fans will find issues with the renditions, everyone else will find a lot to like. And at the very least, this could easily be a great introduction into the memorable songs that both Buckleys originally created.


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