Rolling Stone (2/17/00, p.58) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[his] third and final album....accompanies himself only on acoustic guitar....His voice conveys, in its moans and breathy whispers, an alluring sensuality..."
Spin (p.101) - "[H]is Keatsian mark on music is indelible."
Entertainment Weekly (5/12/00, p.24) - "One voice, one guitar, one set of beautifully dolorous songs...the equivalent of an amble down a darkened country road. Modedl after-hours listening." - Rating: A
Q (8/00, pp.112-3) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Nick Drake's best album....[Its] excellence shines through....Few records have ever sounded so intimate, or embodied Melancholy with such grace and assurance..."
Alternative Press (3/01, p.88) - "...With a voice paradoxically feather-light and grave, [one] of the most beautiful and melancholy albums ever recorded..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.75) - "[I]t's his most haunted, intense album, and its mere 28-minute duration feels perfectly judged."
Mojo (Publisher) (7/00, p.99) - "...His masterpiece and the Robert Johnson comparisons are fully deserved..."
NME (Magazine) (8/12/00, p.28) - Ranked #8 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums" - "...Touched with luminous symbolism and uncanny intimacy, this is the sound of inescapable retreat."
It's widely reported that by the time Nick Drake got around to recording his third and final album, PINK MOON, his already-precarious mental/emotional state had drastically deteriorated. In a deep depression, Drake recorded a brace of solo acoustic tunes, dropped the tape off unannounced at the label's office one day, and that was the last the world at large ever heard of Drake's music.
The results of those solo sessions were as harrowing and stark as anything by Robert Johnson or Charley Patton. Enclosed in an inner world of psychological distress, Drake recorded PINK MOON's dispatches from a private hell that was simultaneously terrifying and beautiful. Both the lyrics and the melodic motifs are pared to the bone here, their simplicity making them all the more immediately striking. The most nakedly emotional and disturbing moment is probably "Parasite," a visceral-but-mysterious account of a disconsolate soul roaming through the world in search of succor, with Drake taking the starring role, ultimately offering, "take a look, you may see me in the dirt." This was the end of the road for Nick Drake in more ways than one, but just the beginning for the scores of songwriters subsequently inspired by his bleak-but-beautiful visions.
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- Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake [Digipak] (Various Artists)