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Is Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" the most divine?

Aren’t you almost envious of the people who heard Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the first time last night when Jason Castro sang it on American Idol? They still have their first listen of the late Jeff Buckley’s soul-shaking rendition ahead of them.

Those people do exist, by the way. Shortly after Idol ended, I went on YouTube and found them leaving comments on the official video of Buckley’s cover. Then, I watched the folks who’d already loved the song as much as Simon Cowell does show up, itching to debate whose take is best. So, let’s do it. Is it…

Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”

k.d. lang’s “Hallelujah”

Rufus Wainwright’s “Hallelujah”

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

Allison Crowe’s “Hallelujah”

ADDENDUM: John Cale’s “Hallelujah”

Me, I’m sticking with Buckley. When he sang the song, he seemed to go to another dimension, a place where his haunting, imperfect voice could sound simultaneously broken and joyously reckless. Does he get your vote?

Originally posted March 5 2008 — 3:47 PM EST

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