Over Nick Drake
A sound more gentle than the soft, almost timid singing of Nick Drake never passed human lips. Of all the melancholy balladeers of the past fifty years, none have so effectively captured the sound of the human heart in conflict with itself. Of course the saddest thing about Drake's music is that "Pink Moon" is being used to sell Volkswagens. If the first time you heard Drake was during a car commercial, then buying Fruit Tree straightaway is the least you can do to make amends. The collection gathers Drake's three studio albums and the posthumous disc Time Has Told Me. Though it's impossible to pick favorites with Drake, his debut Five Leaves Left may turn out to be the album you play most. It takes listeners on a gorgeous sojourn through rustic themes, wafting strings and Drake's lapidary acoustic guitar playing. The follow-up, Bryter Later, is a more urbane record; a purple-prose serenade from a dream corner of London. The partly cloudy skies of Bryter Later suddenly turned gray and glowering on the last album Drake recorded. The stark, eerie Pink Moon contains what is arguably some of the saddest music ever recorded, which is precisely what makes it so ineffably beautiful.