Box set: Nick Drake

Fruit Tree (Island)
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The Independent Culture

To extend its arboreal metaphor, this Fruit Tree seems to blossom anew every few years, its original crop of folk-jazz melancholia incrementally extended by the addition of a new twig or two, as long-forgotten rehearsal and demo tapes are found.

Or not, this time round at least: it actually discards Time of No Reply, the fourth disc of leftovers included in previous versions of Fruit Tree, in favour of a DVD of Jeroen Berkvens's documentary film A Skin Too Few: the Days of Nick Drake, and a lyric booklet incorporating exhaustive annotations of the three original albums.

In many ways it's an improvement, leaving those albums to speak for themselves without being tarnished by poorer additions and providing many insightful commentaries on the singer's character, musical influences and working methods, such as the obvious-now-you-mention-it interest in bossa nova and Tropicalismo, particularly the way that the blend of acoustic guitar, understated rhythmic hints and undemonstrative delivery is used.

Download this: 'River Man', 'At The Chime of a City Clock', 'One of These Things First', 'Poor Boy', 'Pink Moon'

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