Tim Buckley - Lorca (1970), 8/10

Right at the start, Lorca’s haunting yet beautiful title track sets a tone of dark, wonderous, sensual passion. Buckley’s vocal delivery is as impressive as ever, he almost sounds possessed, especially in the ten minute opener that is the undeniable highlight of the album, but the chilling instrumentals and arrangements set this far apart from his previous work in both tone and ambition. It is of course worth mentioning and impossible to avoid Starsailor for its rock infused experimental ideas, but Lorca feels more like a raw, pure performance drawing from Tim and the band's energy as a younger group dipping their toes into the unknown, but in a surprisingly successful fashion. The melodies throughout are not necessarily stronger, but can be considered more endearing on a personal, intimate level and are balanced with more conventional songwriting unlike Tim’s other masterwork that is practically all insanity. Not to mention this was an incredibly brave release in 1970, especially considering its recording a full year prior in September of 1969, regardless of his career trajectory. After the opening tile track we get "Anonymous Proposition", fusing more chilling vocals with brilliant jazz infused improvisation. Tim uses space in a brilliant and odd, yet masterful way that is instantly pleasing to the ear and would be further explored in the future. The second half is a much easier listen, especially for anyone unfamiliar with Tim’s vocal eccentricities; "Nobody Walkin'" is a particularly pleasing jam as are sections of the conventional yet still dark and possessed “Driftin’” and its superbly satisfying instrumental foundation and playful riffs beneath Tim’s graceful crooning. “I Had a Talk with My Woman” provides a much more traditional song akin that would be very in pocket for a previous album like Happy Sad. Balkin’s upright bass adds a special flavor, particularly on “Anonymous Proposition”, playing and calling wondrously with Tim’s vocals and Lee’s twinkling, gracious guitar meanderings. Tim sounds as genuinely passionate and ardent as he ever did in his career on Lorca, which accentuates its surreal and psychedelic personality, resulting in one of the most important and forward thinking recordings of the time.