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Pink Moon possesses subterranean musical beauty

| Wednesday, October 8, 2003

If I were to ask you to name your favorite album of all time, how quickly would you be able to answer? Would you quickly rattle off a widely-accepted classic album like Led Zeppelin’s IV, or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon? If you’re a true music fan, you would fear this question like leprosy. Music is a hugely emotional medium, and, like emotions, it is always changing. So when my editor asked me to write about my favorite album or artist, I spent hours racking my brain. I spent the entire day going through all of my albums trying to find the perfect one. I finally decided on Nick Drake’s Pink Moon.

My reasoning behind choosing Pink Moon was actually easier than I thought. I asked myself what album I could listen to at any time of day or any time of the year and have it feel brand new. There were other albums that followed that criterion, but Nick Drake has always struck that emotional E minor chord in my heart.

Pink Moon clocks in at only 28 minutes – but a delicate and beautiful 28 minutes. It was the final album from a brilliant folk artist who committed suicide shortly after recording this album in his basement. What makes this album so special is the nakedness of the music. The only instruments that appear are Nick’s wonderfully finger-picked acoustic guitar and his gorgeously melancholy vocals. One song, “Know” is only four notes played behind Nick’s hummed vocals. Despite its lack of depth, Pink Moon is incredibly subterranean in its musical beauty.

Many will recognize the title track from its use in Volkswagen commercials, but there is so much more to this album. Pink Moon captures a certain tender yet hopeful sensation through the 11 tracks. When I listen to songs like “Place to Be,” “From the Morning” and “Road,” I feel like I’m driving down an old country road on a inviting autumn Sunday afternoon with people I love. Pink Moon is that kind of album. It will pull at every corner of your heart and make you feel a wide range of emotions. From hope in “Which Will,” love in “Pink Moon,” and anxiety in “Horn,” Pink Moon does everything an album should – make you feel some sort of emotion.

Contact Ryan Rafferty at rraffert@nd.edu