Nick Drake’s debut encapsulates a marriage between folk music and the singer-songwriter genre. Part Donovan, part Jimmy Webb, he articulated an aching romanticism at a time when progressive rock ran rampant. Beautiful melodies and fragrant accompaniment, in particular Robert Kirby’s stunning string arrangements, enhance the artist’s sense of longing in which warm, but understated, vocals accentuate the album’s passive mystery. An aura of existential cool envelops the proceedings, accentuated by Danny Thompson’s sonorous bass lines and Drake’s poetic imagery. The result is a shimmering, autumnal collection, reflective but never morbid. It’s a tragedy that Drake never lived to see how important his slim catalogue has become.
Tracks: Time Has Told Me; River Man; Three Hours; Way To Blue; Day Is Done; ’Cello Song; The Thoughts Of Mary Jane; Man In A Shed; Fruit Tree; Saturday Sun....