NICK DRAKE > The Fruit Tree Box

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Nick Drake is one of those legends that everyone has heard of, but not that many have actually listened to, apart from the legion of musicians that love him, such as Elliott and Robert Smith. Now making lots of dough for a dead guy, Drake’s three studio albums are being reissued for the second time.Label: Island
[Rating: 2 stars]

Nick Drake is one of those legends that everyone has heard of, but not that many have actually listened to, apart from the legion of musicians that love him, such as Elliott and Robert Smith. Now making lots of dough for a dead guy, Drake’s three studio albums are being reissued for the second time. All bombed when they first came out or until 1985 when the Dream Academy dedicated “Life in a Northern Town” to Drake-a song more memorable than any of Drake’s. A VW commercial in 2000 used the mundane title cut of his last album, Pink Moon and Drake has been a hit ever since. With the social skills of a stump, Drake wrote a lot of minimalist acoustic hymns for the hopeless, from the point of view of a detached viewer, often with poetic lyrics, before OD-ing on pills in 1975. Certainly an acquired taste, Drake is relentless in his depression as evidenced in “Day is Done,” the soundtrack for “bummer, dude,” or his own awkwardness as in “Man in a Shed.” Most memorable is the stark simplicity of “Know” and the prescient “Northern Skies” which includes the telling line, “…would you love me ‘til I’m dead?” If the doomed-romantic-outsider scenario works for you, then Drake is your man, but if you want some life before your death, check out any Rhett Miller acoustic tune or any song by Hamell On Trial.

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