Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde track “Just Like a Woman” is much disputed — for its mysterious but likely famous subject and for whether or not its lyrics are misogynist — but rarely does the beauty of its warm yet aching melody come into question.
And it’s hard to think of a singer’s voice that can better be described as warm and aching — across their body of work — than Jeff Buckley’s. (Incidentally, the link between Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley in this very piece comes from the fact that — as with Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse — the singer’s public body of work continues to be exhumed, stretched, re-released, and remastered decades after his death). And so, Buckley’s just-shared cover of the Bob Dylan song (from the upcoming collection, You and I) is of course stunning — despite the fact that some might be skeptical of yet another album of early/rare recordings. (Buckley himself only ever released one studio album, 1994’s Grace.)
Buckley’s cover slows Dylan’s song down, and allows the singer to revel in the swelling and androgynous quality of his own voice, rendering the track somewhat more self-reflexive than the original, which was delivered more like a series of enamored insults, subtly underscored by heartache. (There’s certainly nothing subtle about the heartache in Buckley’s delivery.)
You and I will be released on March 16, and, according to Pitchfork, also includes covers of Led Zepplin, The Smiths, and Jevetta Steele.
Listen to “Just Like a Woman,” via NPR: