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Tim Buckley - Happy Sad CD (album) cover

HAPPY SAD

Tim Buckley

 

Prog Folk

3.63 | 40 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Happy Sad" is the Third full-length studio album by singer/songwriter Tim Buckley. The album was released through Elektra Records in July 1969. "Happy Sad" is Tim Buckley most commercially successful release although it´s not his most accessible. The writing sessions for "Happy Sad" also produced most of the material for Tim Buckley´s next album "Blue Afternoon (1969)" and some of the material for "Lorca (1970)".

With "Happy Sad", Tim Buckley took a big step away from the mainstream oriented folk pop/rock of his first two albums and enters the world of experimental and progressive folk rock (with a touch of mellow jazz). The basis in the music is still in blues and folk though. A darkness, that was only hinted at on the first two albums, has crept into the tracks on "Happy Sad". Best examplified in the tracks "Love From Room 109 At The Islander (On Pacific Coast Highway)" and "Dream Letter". While those two tracks to my ears are highlights of the album, all tracks are of high quality. The 12:19 minutes long "Gypsy Woman" needs a mention too for it´s hypnotic and tripped out atmosphere. It´s basically one long jam. The music may seem a bit inaccessible upon initial listening but the melodies grow upon repeated listens and most tracks are actually relatively simple even though some of them feature quite sophisticated arrangements.

The music on the album is predominantly acoustic. Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, vibes, marimba and congas are the instrumental foundation. Add to that some electric guitar leads and of course Tim Buckley´s strong and emotional vocal delivery. He is such a powerful and distinct sounding singer with a deeply touching delivery, that reeks melancholy and authenticity. The kind of delivery where you know the person who delivers it has lived through pain and bad times...

The sound production is organic and there´s generally an organic live feel to the album that´s quite fascinating. A loose jamming feeling put into mostly structured tracks. "Happy Sad" generally shows great development of Tim Buckley´s sound and he is starting to take shape as a distinct sounding artist. "Happy Sad" could also be described as a transition album (along with "Blue Afternoon (1969)") between his first two more mainstream oriented studio albums and his more experimental and at times rather avant garde oriented 5th and 6th full-length studio albums "Lorca (1970)" and "Starsailor (1970)". "Happy Sad" features a bit of both worlds (some mainstream oriented moments and some more experimental ones), and would make a fine entry point to Tim Buckley´s discography (as would "Blue Afternoon (1969)"). A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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