Released one year after his drowning death, Jeff Buckley's follow-up to his debut album, "Grace," is morbidly chilling when considered in its posthumous context. But "Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk" shouldn't be judged simply by the story that it completes -- it should be heard
"The Sky Is a Landfill" starts things off, framing social commentary in a rock and soul context. Elsewhere, Buckley veers into more unlikely territory, tripping over Al Green-flavored soul ("Everybody Here Wants You") and a tuneless a cappella lament ("You and I"). Little can prepare the listener for the lovesick brilliance of "Morning Theft," a song which contains the seemingly nonsensical lyrics, You're a woman, I'm a calf/You're a window, I'm a knife, only to soar into an eerie waltz-time love song.
"Sketches" is a musical tour de force, amended by a collection of four-track recordings that were intended for inclusion on Buckley's next studio album -- a sad reminder of what could have been and the pain that often accompanies brilliance.