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Nick Drake: Family Tree

The demos and home tapes comprising the posthumous Nick Drake anthology Family Tree will primarily be of interest to hardcore Drake fans and UK folk-pop historians, though the compilers deserve credit for trying to fashion this ephemera into a proper album. Bringing together instrumental exercises, blues covers, and music-hall ditties written and recorded by Drake's mother Molly, Family Tree aims to explain the musical traditions that informed Drake's elegant melancholy. But where Drake's three official albums are short and sweet, Family Tree runs 28 tracks long, and after a while, all the minimalist laments and genteel ballads begin to run together, with only the occasional revelation like the beautifully Drake-like "They're Leaving Me Behind" to break up the monotony.


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