Beyond the fact the gifted father's genes blessed the son with a glorious voice, Tim Buckley and Jeff Buckley didn't have all that much in common -- while both were talented men, they barely knew each other, and the more one compares Tim's ethereal and adventurous jazz-folk with Jeff's showy octave-hopping bombast, the more one is likely to conclude that father and son wouldn't have been terribly good collaborators. (Sadly, the "romantic" circumstances of their early deaths link them more than anything else.) This hasn't stopped many from trying to chart some musical relationship between Tim and Jeff, and Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim & Jeff Buckley is a tribute album that alternates songs by Tim and Jeff, finding a common ground in airy and evocative performances from a handful of indie rock acts hailing from both sides of the Atlantic. While 13 different artists are represented here, the folks who assembled this set have created an admirable consistency of tone, as (for example) the electronic accents of Tunng's "No Man Can Find the War" rest comfortably next to the spare piano-dominated arrangement of "Morning Theft" by Stephen Fretwell. For anyone keeping score, the performances based around Tim's songs have an edge over those from Jeff's catalog, with Sufjan Stevens "She Is," "Buzzin' Fly" by Kathryn Williams, and the Engineers "Song of the Siren" ranking as the set's most striking moments, but it's worth noting that Tim had a much larger songbook to draw from, and the covers of Jeff's "Mojo Pin" (by Adem) and "Grace" (King Creosote) are certainly noteworthy. The conceit behind Dream Brother is a bit fragile and forced, but the results are more than worthy, and this certainly honors the legacy of two remarkable musicians.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming