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Sefronia

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tim Buckley's 8th studio album, released in September 1973. Includes the first-ever cover of the Tom Waits composition, "Martha." Recorded and produced in LA, featuring funk and soul studio vets and Buckley's rich and amazing voice.

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After the lackluster response to his groundbreaking early '70s albums, Lorca, Blue Afternoon, and Starsailor, Tim Buckley went back to the drawing board. His first attempt at a comeback was the funky, accessible, Greetings from L.A., and his second was Sefronia. This 11-track album did nothing to rescue his critical reputation. It's clear from the outset that Buckley is not in peak form. Apparently suffering from a cold, his voice isn't at his best and this collection of ballads is made even more frustrating by the occasional flashes of inspiration. The tracks, which include an interesting choice of covers (Fred Neil's "Dolphins" and Tom Waits's "Martha"), are too deeply submerged in pop producer Denny Randell's slick production. When Buckley's ramshackle muse does hang together (the evocative "Quicksand" and the sweet "I Know I'd Recognize Your Face") we're almost in Happy Sad territory, but, bar the covers, these songs aren't worthy of that brilliant voice. --Reuben Dessay
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Manifesto Records
  • ASIN: B000005DDZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,799 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sefronia is a tough album to understand in 2003. It is marred by an over intrusive, LA 70's production which seems to pop up and attempt to suck the meaning and poignancy out of the songs. I'm a huge Tim Buckley fan and although the tail end of Tim's career isn't my favourite this album is still worth purchasing if your a casual Tim fan. The reason this album might be appreciated by non- Tim afficenados (I'm not being patronising!) is that Tim's voice whatever it's condition is a captivating instrument and this album presents it in an easily digestible way. In an ideal world everybody would love 'Lorca' and 'Starsailor' but for most people appreciating these albums would have to come after a blossoming love for the soul of Tim Buckley; hence this record is not a bad sampler/introduction although it is hardly a representative overview of his work (it should be noted that at present even 'Morning Glory. Anthology' is not wholly representative of the dramatic evolution of his muse.)
There are some good songs here: Dolphins, Martha, Because Of You, Quicksand and the two parts of the title track, Sefronia. The song Sefronia is in my opinion the greatest of his work POST - Starsailor. It is beautifully arranged, with subtle hints of African instrumentation backing Tim's GORGEOUS vocal; all this is encapsulated by a string-arrangement that rather than detract from the core song, interwines with it; Superb! In short Sefronia could well be a way to fall in love with Tim Buckley especially if the listener appreciates that Tim was battling against a record company who wished him to bring his music into the MOR and drape it in, what is now, a dated 70s production.
For the seasoned Tim fan I won't lie to you, many of the songs on Sefronia receive a better outing on other T Buckley albums.
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Format: Audio CD
I have never understood why critics are hard on this album. Tim was destroyed by the reception given his masterworks (Starsailor & Blue Afternoon, which continue to be maddenly out-of-print), so then offered us his version of popular music in "Greetings From L.A." and "Sefronia." Every cut here is impassioned with Tim's never-to-be-matched-again voice. Every selection deserved Tim's interpretation. Would anyone want LESS music from this man? "Dolphins" is here. A beautiful reading of Tom Waits's "Martha." The funky dance of "Honeyman" is here. The only duet Tim recorded ("I Know I'd Recognize Your Face"). Truly, the only reason to give this CD less than 5 stars is to compare it to Starsailor & Blue Afternoon - but the music of an artist like Tim Buckley transcends any ratings system. Buy this CD and ready yourself to be amazed by what a voice can do.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album from Tim Buckleys later career. I don't know how else to say it. The best tracks are, Dolphins, Honey Man, Peanut Man, Martha, Quicksand, I Know I'd Recognize Your Face, Stone In Love, and Sally Go Round the Roses. Another note about Peanut Man. It's probably the best song on this great record. It's beat is very infectious. Martha is beautiful. If you're used to Tims earlier stuff I recommend that you try this album but beware you may be shocked at first. Bottom line, buy this album, and have fun enjoying it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 1973 release was Tim Buckley's 8th and next-to-last album. It is an odd piece of work for many reasons. First, out of 11 songs, 6 were not written by Tim. This does not, however, affect the quality of the album. The material was well chosen. Second, it is an almost even mix of warm, earnest songs and downright sexy funk. He is good at both, so again, no problem. And third, some of the ideas expressed defy interpretation, or at least unambiguous interpretation.

"Dolphins" is one of the earnest songs, a ballad. The dolphins are a metaphor for an ideal world, as opposed to the real world which Tim feels "will never change the way it's been", and, he adds, "I only know that peace will come when all our hate is gone". This ideal world would also include a woman from the past to whom Tim sings "I wonder do you ever think of me?" Conversely, "Peanut Man", one of my favorites, is a fun R&B track in which Tim tells the peanut man (?), "Drops of perspiration Johnny/Coming over me, hey buddy/Pour another glass of cola/Pass it to me". That last line is sung in a high falsetto that is just hilarious. Returning to earnestness, "Martha" is a beautiful, bittersweet orchestral number that reminds me just a little bit of The Beatles' "Martha, My Dear": "Guess that our bein' together was never meant to be/But Martha, Martha, I love you, can't you see and...those were the days of poetry and prose/And Martha all I had was you and all you had was me". "Stone In Love" takes us back to lowdown sex-funk: "I can almost taste it...and I was born not to waste it Lord/Oh, now baby; I got midnight fever".
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Format: Audio CD
The tragedy for our truly great popular recording ARTISTS has been the steadfast refusal of the pop audience to accept their musical growth as it occurs. The fact that most people do not evolve at the same pace as these artists is no reason to denegrate their works. For the reviewer from Hong Kong I respectfully suggest that his mark is more a reflection of his own musical limitations and not those of this amazingly agile singer.
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