Nick Drake has been out of the music scene for almost exactly three decades, since killing himself in 1974. Yet albums bearing his name keep coming out (spurred perhaps by that Volkswagon commercial a few years back), such as 1994's Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake (re-released in 2003) and the four-disc boxed set, Fruit Tree. This June a "new" Nick Drake album was released, Made to Love Magic, a collection of freshly remixed tracks, new versions of songs and the recently unearthed "Tow the Line."
Cut to the chase: if you are looking to dabble with Drake without commitment (no judgment here), buy Way to Blue and call it a day. It has "Pink Moon" on it, and that's the song you really wanted anyway, isn't it? Otherwise, fans and obsessively-comprehensive types who just have to have all the recordings will be excited about the unearthed "Tow the Line," "Three Hours" (my own album favorite) and the new mixes (done by original Drake arrangers and producers, with Drake's sister's blessing). However, those squeamish about posthumous monkeying might be turned off by the titularly-truncated "Magic" track being digitally sped up and relayered. That aside, the album stands alone. Made to Love Magic is a melancholy, ethereal listen, with some whimsy thrown in to weed out the halfhearted.