Sound — 8
Mystery White Boy is a compilation of live songs from Jeff Buckley's Mystery White Boy tour from '95 to '96. The sound of these tracks are rawer than those of Buckley's debut (and only completed) album Grace, and the listener is often treated to one of Buckley's trademark vicious guitar solos. The album has several original songs never recorded in studios, namely "I Woke Up in a Strange Place", "What Will You Say", and "Moodswing Whiskey", also songs from Grace, including the screamingly good road version of "Eternal Life", and some covers, including MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" and an unexpected cover of Gershwin's "The Man That Got Away". The one problem with the album is the fuzzy sound quality, and the amount of distortion on many of the tracks.
Lyrics — 10
Jeff Buckley's lyrics, as usual, are eloquent and beautiful. The best part about this album is how he really shows off his famous vocal range. The lyrics of "What Will You Say" are particularly moving; although Buckley co-wrote the song with Chris Dowd about Dowd's relationship (or lack thereof) with his father, the song is equally applicable to Buckley's attitude towards his father, folk legend Tim Buckley.
Overall Impression — 9
In some ways, I found this album to be preferable to Grace, simply because this was the way that Jeff Buckley's music was meant to sound, without the constraint of the studio or the record label's influence. Mystery White Boy serves as a harder rock counterpart of the acoustic Live at Sin-e.