Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Merri Cyr

Rock & Roll Books

A Wished-for Song: A Portrait of Jeff Buckley

by Merri Cyr
Backbeat Books, 176 pp., $22.95 (paper)

A decade has passed since Jeff Buckley's ill-fated swim in the Mississippi River, and that tragic Memphis night has since spawned a feeding frenzy of posthumous releases eager to cash in on the late musical heartthrob's lingering legacy. This paperback reissue of official Buckley photographer Merri Cyr's A Wished-For Song features previously unseen photos and provides fans with a broader spectrum of the personality behind the man: brooding sepia like an Abercrombie model, mugging with a cappuccino spoon dangling from his nose. These images humanize Buckley in a way that the umpteenth reissue of Grace can't, but the flimsy interviews and commentary from publicists and other personae from Buckley's life fall short of fleshing out his life and the book. In fact, the vignettes and reminiscences act as filler, distraction from museum-piece pictures showcasing Buckley in his youthful glory, frozen moments of fiery intensity. Those images speak for themselves.

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