Editor’s note: In this recurring column, music writer Chris Duncan suggests two albums to listen to this week. Have a suggestion? Send a tweet to @chr_dunc, and your pick might appear in next week’s Two Albums To Listen To.
Pink Moon — Nick Drake
After Nick Drake’s first two albums sold poorly and he refused to support them with live performances, his label, Island Records, lacked confidence in the mellow singer-songwriter. After holing up in his London apartment and seeking help for depression, Drake developed a more somber attitude toward his work, resulting in an organic feeling that is reflected in his final record, Pink Moon.
Drake played every instrument on the album himself, forgoing his typical folk-pop style in favor of a more radical solo style. Pink Moon is a bleak album, bringing forth the persona Drake fans hail to this day.
The simplicity of Pink Moon, especially its title track, makes it a calming wonder to listen to.
Tracks to listen to: “Pink Moon,” “Things behind the Sun,” “From the Morning”
Sea Change — Beck
Beck’s ever-changing style is his signature, but no shift is more obvious than the changes from his early works — such as Odelay — to the more heartfelt Sea Change.
Replacing his ironic lyrics and heavy sampling with a more sincere attitude and live instrumentation, Sea Change became a sonic kaleidoscope with its dynamic sound. Sea Change is a breakup album, but each song doesn’t necessarily have a bitter tone to it. Rather, Beck, along with producer Nigel Godrich, created a warm and eerie sound that welcomes its audience.
Sea Change presents an intimate and personal experience with each listen, allowing it to become a masterpiece for all fans.
Tracks to listen to: “The Golden Age,” “Lonesome Tears,” “Lost Cause”