4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Could have stayed for more,
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This review is from: Way To Blue - The Songs Of Nick Drake (MP3 Download)
Great concept - Nick Drake's songs performed by a host of different artists. And some of these interpretations are so good, they bring a fresh perspective to songs that many of us have known and loved for years. Teddy Thompson's River Man, Krystle Warren's Time Has Told Me, Vashti Bunyan's Which Will, Lisa Hannigan's Black Eyed Dog, Shane Nicholson's Rider on the Wheel and Scott Matthews' When The Day is Done are extraordinary.
The Barbican concert in 2010 was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Sadly this isn't that concert, with many interpretations replaced by lesser versions recorded at an later tribute concert in Melbourne. The biggest gap is the absence of Kirsty Almeida, who's Cello Song was mesmerising. She also provided wonderful backing vocals to Teddy Thompson's Poor Boy, a song which, here, is replaced by a similarly rousing Shane Nicholson version. Other notable omissions are Robyn Hitchcock's Free Ride and the ensemble's haunting Voice From the Mountain. I would gladly have dropped the instrumental and somewhat plodding One of These Things First for either of these. It's also a shame that nobody has adequately tackled Northern Sky - Neill MacColl's sub-par version on the night is rightly dropped. I seem to recall that Bernard Butler did an astonishing version of this song at an earlier tribute. It's a great shame that neither he, Teddy Thompson or Scott Matthews were given Northern Sky - or One of These Things First for that matter.
The only real bum note is vocal group Luluc's gauche barbershop Fly. That this lot get to butcher 3 of Nick's songs while Kirsty and Robyn are dropped seems more than a little perverse. Audience noise has been mixed out, which I found odd at first; on the whole however, it serves the material well - whoops and hollers would probably sound out of place on a Nick Drake recording.
Had I never heard the Barbican originals, I would no doubt be less critical. This is still a great CD to have and Joe Boyd's characteristically warm and ebullient sleeve notes make this a great package to have.