Friday, August 22, 2008

Pink Moon

My musical tastes change by the season. When it comes to Fall and the leaves are beginning to show their colors and the air gets crisp, there is one album I reach for every time. You may have never heard of this fellow - he's long gone now, and never really made much of a ripple when he was here - but Nick Drake was a man ahead of his time. Although he recorded three records in his short life (Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon) the album of which I speak is his last effort; the barren, nearly perfect 'Pink Moon.'

Evoking images of empty landscapes and melancholy lives, Drake was singing of which he knew. He lived a life that was painfully shy (strange for a performer to be sure!) and his quiet nature and unassuming ways led him to stray from the public eye, even as he sought fame through his music. Complex and contemplative, 'Pink Moon' catches that rare brilliance of an artist that has created a masterpiece without even realizing it.

There is no doubt that this is an album for all time, for all seasons. But there is something about lyrics like this that seem to welcome the dying of leaves and the oncoming bleakness of winter:

Don't be shy you learn to fly
And see the sun when day is done
If only you see
Just what you are beneath a star
That came to stay one rainy day
In autumn for free
Yes, be what you'll be.
Please beware of them that stare
They'll only smile to see you while
Your time away
And once you've seen what they have been
To win the earth just won't seem worth
Your night or your day
Who'll hear what I say?

I've tried to pass along the wonder of this album to quite a few people, and if you've never heard it yourself I encourage you to check it out - especially as autumn approaches and serious work begins on Halloween projects and haunts. For more information on the life and work of Nick Drake, check out these links:

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