Nick Drake was an unknown soldier in the 1970s. Blending lush orchestrations with a bluntly emotional voice, his music would although at the time not become popular, grow to be some of the most influential music of the haven that the ‘70s were for originality. Singer/Songwriters are pretty universally enjoyed; I mean who doesn’t like ‘Flake’ by Jack Johnson or ‘Say Yes’ by Elliott Smith. Usually you’ll find that huge Cryptopsy/Spiral Architect fan talking about how whenever he needs to calm down he throws on Damien Rice’s ‘O’. Well, most of these artists owe their ideas to Nick Drake’s ‘Pink Moon’. Sitting next to Talk Talk’s ‘Laughing Stock’ as one of the most emotionally barren and gorgeous sounding records of all time, Pink Moon encompasses the feelings of despair and isolation so effortlessly it’s a wonder it isn’t more widely respected and known than it is. Although I’m a big fan of the acoustic meanderings of most singer/songwriters, I do find myself usually becoming bored with the sheer playing inability in most of these artists, but with Nick Drake this problem is nowhere to be found. His unique and technical ability behind a guitar is astounding and highly compliments his very ethereal vocals. While some people tend to dwell on the suicide he supposedly committed, I try to remember Nick Drake not for the actions he transpired, but for the wonderful timeless music he created.
‘Pink Moon’ has a cast of ten very similar songs. All of the songs are formed between only two instruments, Nick’s guitar and vocals, except for the title track which features some haunting piano melodies. Most of the songs are done in a way that makes them mildly upbeat and beautiful, but the occasional gloomy dark song is experimented with on the album in the form of ‘Things Behind the Sun’ and ‘Parasite’. While the lyrical messages behind most of the songs are typically depressing affairs, this topic only seems to soak through into the actual musical half of the album in the two dark songs. ‘Pink Moon’ is mostly concentrated in the genre of Folk with most of the songs blending together stylistically, but tracks like ‘Know’ which is based around an extremely simple guitar line and the short interlude ‘Horn’ help make the album more interesting and seem less repetitive. Nick’s voice is very unique in itself due to the fact it has a deep yet very soothing, beautiful sound. Whereas most singer/songwriters reach their moments of beauty with the falsetto sound, Nick like Jeff Buckley on his album ‘Grace’ is able to exude emotion in various ranges of his voice, which also helps establish striking differences in the ten tracks on this album. All in all, the tracks on this album are similar yet different, but always rewarding. Few tracks stand out, because they are all excellent by my personal favorite would have to be ‘Things Behind the Sun’ just because of how elegantly depressing it is. Every song can serve the dual purpose of either being, light and relaxing, or tense and emotional depending on how the listener is relating to it.
‘Pink Moon’ is a simple album made by a talented man that any musician or music listener should enjoy. The accessibility to this album is simple, because it is always representing an emotion or feeling that anyone can relate too. While the album does have some depressing undertones, like most popular music Nick Drake is able to make a musically upbeat and happy sounding song out of what were most likely some of his darkest feelings. This ability to make an accessible, moving piece that is both filled with despair and hopefulness is what makes ‘Pink Moon’ such an everlasting and excellent piece of work. It’s really an album anyone can pick up and really enjoy whether you are a metal, rap, or indie fan and that is where the perfection lies in it.
The title track is one of the greatest songs I have ever heard, I, like everybody else loves the piano part. That's really the only stand out track, everything else is similar yet musically beautiful. I always listen to this album when my head hurts, heh.
I think this is one of the most likable albums of all time. It's simple, it's melodic, the songwriting and musicianship are strong, and I can't fathom anybody finding something about it they don't enjoy. One of the best albums of the 1970's.
Great review, but I think comparing it emotionally to Laughing Stock is a bit off base.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the greatest, most powerful album I've ever heard. It's a shame that his albums didn't gain popularity while he was still around. This Message Edited On 01.02.07
first time i heard this i thought it was very boring, until recently i heard the song pink moon on the radio....i realized how amazing that song and this album is. i havent gone a day since that i havent listened to a song from this album. this is a definite classic
What an unbelievable album, I knew nothing about this guy and was pointed in his direction by a couple users from this site, modern folk & indie music owes this guy a hell of a lot. A simply beautiful album.