197 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Drake sings songs and plays guitar on his final album
In the throes of a depression that would see him dead at the age of 26 from an overdose of anti-depression medication, Nick Drake still managed to produce his last album, "Pink Moon." Unlike his first two efforts, which consisted of orchestrated folk-pop music, this 1972 album was just Drake playing his acoustic guitar and singing (with a bit of piano here and there)...
Published on January 17, 2004 by Amazon Customer
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still ethereal, but the beginning of the end.
Nick Drake's final `proper' album is somewhat erratic, his detachment and alienation from the world around him becoming more apparent in this collection of short songs.
The guitar and vocal sounds are different from his early pieces, often a little grating to my ears which prefer the flowing beauty of his earlier work. However, `Place To Be' is a remarkable piece...
Published on May 2, 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Most Helpful First | Newest First
197 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Drake sings songs and plays guitar on his final album,
In the throes of a depression that would see him dead at the age of 26 from an overdose of anti-depression medication, Nick Drake still managed to produce his last album, "Pink Moon." Unlike his first two efforts, which consisted of orchestrated folk-pop music, this 1972 album was just Drake playing his acoustic guitar and singing (with a bit of piano here and there). The result is a bleak testament to melancholy and alienation that has a haunting and pristine beauty. There are only eleven songs, most of which are under three minutes in length, which is why the album is not even a half-hour long, but there is a sense in which anything longer would be too much to bear. "Pink Moon," by itself, justifies Drake's status as a cult figure among those who love folk-rock.
Ironically, you have probably hear Nick Drake's music before, because the title track was used for a Volkswaggen commercial, just another example of how music is perverted to commercial interests (what else is new?). I have been spending the cold winter putting together mixes of folk music (in the broadest sense) and making a concerted effort to get beyond Bob Dylan and the Byrds to explore the likes of Sandy Denny and the Beau Brummels. Checking out Sandy Denny led me to Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson, and eventually to Ralph McTell and Nick Drake. Now I can only wonder what rock I have been living under that I have never come across these artists before.
The title track is a beautiful folk ballad, performed with just Drake's superb acoustic guitar playing and haunting vocal. Throughout the album you notice the depth of his lyrics and his guitar playing. The latter might have been lost in an album with orchestration, but here you have the opportunity to listen to the openings of "Radio" and "Parasite" unadorned. For the former a choice example would be the opening of what is probably the best song on the album (it is hard to choose), "Which Will," which begins: "Which will you go for/Which will you love/Which will you choose from/From the stars above?" There is a simple elegance to the lyrics, captured by the vocals, and complimented by the more complex guitar playing.
Nick Drake only produced three albums, so there is no reason not to have all of them in your music library. These works represent the very best of the British folk-rock scene and Drake is a first rate singer-songwriter whose songs of failed romance, mortality, and depression are quite affective. Drake intended "Pink Moon" to be his final album, saying he had nothing left to record. When you lose yourself listening to these songs, you can actually convince yourself that this was true.
120 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked to see Pink Moon in a VW Cabrio ad,
By A Customer
To my surprise recently I saw the VW Cabrio ad with Nick Drake singing "Pink Moon". I thought, "Wow, great! More people getting turned on to Nick Drake's music, I hope!"
Each Nick Drake album is a little different, but each is fulfilling in its own way. If you enjoy this release then you will definitely want the Fruit Tree boxed set which compiled all three of his studio albums plus a fourth CD of extra tracks. It is well worth the money spent, trust me.
Pink Moon itself is way stark. Just the man and his acoustic guitar (with a touch of piano on the title track). But the songs themselves, the minute you hear them (and it's only 29 minutes of them on this album), they sound like you've heard them before.
If you're into old REM you'll see in a few of these tracks how they were influenced.
If you enjoy this release, you may want to check out Elliott Smith's releases, especially his album "XO". It is in a similar vein to Nick Drake.
159 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drake finally gets the success his music so deserved,
I acquired this album from a friend about 6 months before VW decided to use the title track in their Cabrio commercial. I found it amazing that almost no-one had heard of Nick Drake, prior to the VW ad that is. The cd is 28 minutes or so, and it is purely amazing, just a wonderful way to pass half an hour of time. Most of the songs on Pink Moon are played in alternate tunings which account for their somewhat "different" sound. The cd has a very simple and clean feel to it, likely because it is merely Nick on acoustic guitar with occasional piano parts. So if you're into acoustic guitar music, you should like this album. Overall I find Pink Moon very peaceful, nice to relax to. Just sit back in your recliner, close your eyes, and really *listen*. To me it's mind-boggling that his music has been overlooked for more than 25 years. It's a shame Nick didn't live to see the success of his music.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Drake sounds just like Nick Drake,
Just to be different, I'm not gonna spend this review rambling on endlessly about whom Nick Drake sounds like or whom he's influenced. Instead, I'm gonna talk about his music -- specifically, in this case, the album "Pink Moon". Ready? Let's begin:
All of Drake's albums are pretty terrific. "Five Leaves Left" is wispy and fragile-sounding in a typical late-sixties folksy kind of way. The only thing that makes it rise above the sandal-wearing fray is the strength of the songs themselves -- which, when you think about it, is a pretty good way to rise above the fray, if one feels compelled to do such a thing....
Drake's second release, "Bryter Layter", is something quite different. This time, the songs (while still -- genetically, at least -- wispy and fragile) are beefed-up through a more ambitious (did someone say intrusive?) production technique. The end result is intriguing ("Hazy Jane I & II") and burdensome ("Poor Boy") in equal measure. Call it a draw.
Which brings us to "Pink Moon". Apparently, Drake was uncomfortable (surprise, surprise) with the pop star treatment of the "Bryter Layter" material because "Pink Moon"'s stark, acoustic offerings are obviously a bold reaction to it. These songs are so quiet and introspective that they make "Five Leaves Left" sound like Deep Purple's "Machine Head". But that is exactly why "Pink Moon" is Nick Drake's crowning achievement. If anyone's songs were meant to be recorded in a bedroom with nothing but a few wooded instruments and whispered vocals for accompaniment, it's Drake's. Just listen to "Road", "From the Morning", or the astounding, otherworldly title track and tell me that I'm wrong....
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best,
I found this album in a used LP bin in 1990. I bought it because the cover was cool. At first listen, I was unimpressed. It sounded so... bare, so basic. Nonetheless, I found myself listening to the record again and again... until I suddenly realized I had come to love it. A few years later, I picked up "Fruit Tree" which included everything Nick Drake had ever recorded on 4 CD's. Pink Moon remained my favorite. After experiencing the spare, delicate arrangements of "Pink Moon", it was hard to relate to the horns and strings n "Bryter Layter" and "Five Leaves Left"... the songs are great on those two records, but I feel the production hopelessly dates them.
Just the other day, being an obesessive about sound quality, I bought the new 24 bit remaster of this album. The new CD sounds at least as good as the old LP (although, in honesty, my copy was neither an early pressing on anywhere near mint). Inner details are subtly revealed. Drake's voice has more "air" around it, you can discern the character more readily. The music itself,of course,remains utterly essential. The lyrics are spooky, the guitar playing is intricate. For all the talk about this being a "dificult" album, I feel it is actually very accesible. It is melodic, gorgeously wrought, full of mystery, and at times, full of joy.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Commercial a necessary evil,
When I first saw and heard "Pink Moon", one of my favorite songs for many years, being used in a Volkswagen commercial, my first thought was, "Oh, cool. Nick Drake's music is finally being brought to the masses." Believe me, I've seen many examples of great songs being tarnished forever by being used in a bad commercial, but this isn't one of them. The song is used tastefully and respectfully; Nick Drake largely shunned human contact, so he would probably have approved of the commercial's depiction of 4 kids who decide they'd rather just drive around on a starry night than go to some party and get wasted and laid. I'd also say that, judging from the fact that a 28 year old record is #12 (Mar. 27) on the Amazon best sellers list, that the song is just as much a commercial for Nick Drake as it is for Volkswagen. Think of the power of a 30 second snippet of a song: without any information about the artist, people have searched out this deceased man's music, wanting to hear it again. My hope is that these neophyte Nick Drake fans will listen beyond the title track and discover just what an amazing album "Pink Moon" really is. That song is just one of an amazing collection, recorded by a man in extreme despair, with lyrics that appear to be out of some poet's feverish dreams. Maybe they'll then move on to Drake's other wonderful albums. And hey, if it took a car commercial for this to happen, so be it.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for insomniacs?,
I don't mean that title in a bad way, but there's an undeniable dark-hours-of-the-night feeling throughout this album's 28 minutes. Pink Moon is certainly Nick Drake's saddest and darkest work, but ultimately the most timeless. Where Bryter Layter can sound slightly dated and over-orchestrated, I say the simple power of one good voice and a guitar will never age. This album could have been recorded in 1971 or tomorrow.
Someone below used the phrase "pleasantly melancholy" and I entirely agree. Beautiful though short (the longest track "Things Behind the Sun" clocks in at a whopping 3:56), yet nice and moody, this is the kind of music that can make you cry and then make you glad you did. Hope comes and goes here; never really joyful but never really gone. The title track - perhaps a precursor to the harbinger of doom "Black Eyed Dog" which only surfaced after Nick's death - seems a recognition of an omen with almost a weary acceptance. We go out on a positive note in "From the Morning," but that blend of pleasantness and sorrow never really leaves.
If you're reading this, chances are you know and love the treasure that is his music already. For someone who hasn't heard any Drake before I'd recommend the debut Five Leaves Left; there's a single-disc compilation (Way to Blue), but once you get addicted you'll only want to buy them all anyway. Pink Moon is about Nick Drake and about all of us, one of those rare works that truly speaks to something in everyone.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you VW commercials!,
I admit that I had not heard of Nick Drake before VW used "Pink Moon" on their lastest commercial. The song moved me so much when I saw the commercial I was driven to find out who the artist was. This album is nothing short of fantastic. My only complaint is the short length. If you are a fan of "Red House Painters" then you will love Nick Drake's music also. I was amazed to discover that the album was released in 1972. My next purchase will be his box set. His music takes you to another world.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God,
I bought this album without knowing quite what to expect. Nick Drake has a very large underground following and this album will explain exactly why. I picked up this album on a lark when researching the lyrics to a song by Dunan Sheik. Pink Moon is just another example of buried genius. How artists like this never gain a presence in the mainstream American music scene baffles me.
Pink Moon is a very simple construction, with only vocals and acoustic guitar. However, Nick Drake is able to take what would appear to be a limited palette and create a range of melodies that go from lighthearted and sweet to dark and forboding. The title track, Pink Moon, is particularly tragic in light of Drake's eventual fate.
Nick Drake is one of those rare artists that makes me love an album from a genre that I don't typically enjoy (folk acoustic). Absolutely brilliant.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.,
By A Customer
I almost fell off the couch when I heard "Pink Moon" on a tv commercial, but the spot itself is so beautifully done, I'm not complaining. Especially when many thousands of people are being exposed to a most deserving (if sadly departed) artist. Kudos to VW's ad agency for picking this music, and bravo to VW for having the courage to air something far less than obvious.
Most Helpful First | Newest First