In the five and a half years since his 1997 death, Jeff Buckley has become a mythic figure, attracting an obsessive cult following and getting name-checked in interviews by half the world's rock stars. The respect is justified by his scant-but-glorious studio output and transcendent concert recordings, but his catalog (which contained only one album and a couple of live EPs at the time of his death) remains infuriatingly incomplete. Arriving shortly before the planned release of a five-disc box set, which will merely repackage the contents of previously released promotional EPs already owned by every diehard collector with an eBay account, Songs To No One documents the brief period between Buckley's breakthrough performance (at a 1991 concert paying tribute to his father, the late troubadour Tim Buckley) and the solo shows that led to his Sony contract. Though most have circulated as bootlegs of varying quality, the disc's 11 tracks—produced, and in some cases heavily retouched, by Buckley friend Hal Willner—remain essential for fans seeking a window into the singer's then-nascent talent. But they also mark another frustrating chapter in a career that's seen little else. Performing alongside former Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas, with a couple of instrumental guest spots added recently, Buckley strains to be heard over Lucas' dense array of noodling solos, which carry on as if they were instrumentals. It's no surprise that the legendarily picky singer reportedly hated these recordings; after a while, it begins to sound as if his talent is being deliberately suppressed, especially on "Harem Man," which not only drowns out the vocal, but processes and distorts it. Equally infuriating: Four of these tracks—"Satisfied Mind," "Mojo Pin," and two more versions of the ubiquitous "Grace"—are just early variations on well-known releases, while numerous other Lucas collaborations remain available only to bootleg and MP3 traders. But Buckley fans should still be grateful that Songs To No One is available in the first place, which is more than can be said for the decidedly richer contents of Sony's vaults.