Rolling Stone - p.1804 stars out of 5
- "[T]hese casual performances suggest there was never anything casual about Drake's art: Even when he was just jotting down some idea, he couldn't help infecting it with that strange, mournful magic."
Spin - p.123
"[H]is gorgeous music was more sepulchral than whimsical."
Entertainment Weekly - p.165
"[T]he ageless, mythopoetic elegance of Drake's craft shine throughout..." - Grade: B+
Uncut - p.1074 stars out of 5
- "Slip the headphones on and imagine a parallel 1974 where a confident Drake is performing with a makeshift duo at the Festival Hall."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1184 stars out of 5
- "MADE TO LOVE MAGIC throws significant new light on several highlights of Drake's canon."
Personnel: Nick Drake (vocals, guitar); Richard Thompson (electric guitar); Anna Morris, Julia Singleton, Gina Ball, Sally Herbert (violin); Claire Orsler, Amanda Chancellor (viola); Ian Burdge, Dinah Beamish (cello); Jane Spiers, Karen Jones (flute); Rory McFarlane (double bass); Rebop Kwaku Baah (congas).
Audio Mixer: John Wood .
Audio Remixer: John Wood .
Liner Note Authors: John Wood ; Cally.
Recording information: Lansdowne Studios (??/1968-08/2003); Morgan Studios (??/1968-08/2003); Robert Kirby's Rooms, Cambridge University (??/1968-08/2003); Sound Techniques, Boston, MA (??/1968-08/2003).
Photographers: Victoria Weymouth; Cally; Keith Morris.
Three decades after British singer/songwriter Nick Drake's death, MADE TO LOVE MAGIC appeared, full of rare tracks and alternate versions, and intended as a "companion piece" to Drake's official recordings. While a number of the tracks appeared previously on the TIME OF NO REPLY collection, there are a few treasures that are heard here for the first time. Whatever you think about posthumous overdubbing, it's fascinating to hear Drake's storied arranger Robert Kirby add new orchestrations to "Time of No Reply" and the title cut, in the style of his initial work with the troubled troubadour.
More captivating, though, are the alternate versions of "Three Hours," with congas and flute and an added emphasis on Drake's unusual, sophisticated guitar work, and "River Man." The latter's bare-bones demo, with its haunted whisper and bossa nova-cum-folk guitar, suggests Joao Gilberto studying existentialism in Cambridge. The biggest news is the discovery of a previously unknown Drake composition, "Tow the Line," whose serpentine melody and inscrutable lyric are fully on a par with the PINK MOON material amid which it was discovered. MADE TO LOVE MAGIC isn't the ideal introduction to Drake (start instead with his debut, FIVE LEAVES LEFT), but it's an illuminating addition to the legacy.