Album Review: Misja Fitzgerald Michel “Time Of No Reply”

Album Review: Misja Fitzgerald Michel “Time Of No Reply”

NO FORMAT!  NOF19/614 (2012)

misja-fitzgerald-michel-time-of-no-reply

Album Artwork from No Format

Here’s a strange thing, a French guitarist who doesn’t like being pigeonholed (and don’t we like to put musicians in boxes) interpreting the songs of Nick Drake.

It could have gone so wrong, Nick Drakes delicate and utterly beautiful songs turned into some sort of dreadful jazzed up re-reading, full of look at me, aren’t I clever chords, and missing the magic altogether. Then there’s the nature of Nick Drake’s playing, strange tunings and precise picking and the ebb and flow of his rhythms.

There’s no point in copying because if you do, you can only end up playing them the same, Nick Drakes guitar playing style doesn’t make interpretation easy.  The tunes though are a different story, so often though of a depressive, they are delicate, austere and graceful.

It’s the tunes that Misja has focused on, and attempted to capture, and this makes Time Of No Reply a fascinating album for any Nick Drake fan to listen to.  Better probably not to look the track list and instead listen to the album. Misja is a fine guitarist who plays within and around the tunes, in places obvious and in others stretched from the original. Never though self-indulgent, and always trying to capture the true feeling of the songs.

It’s a really good recording as well, mostly Misja’s acoustic guitar but with contributions from other musicians on some of the tracks.  Nick Drake fans should listen to this and really more than once, repeated listens start to make more sense and allow the familiar to become just that.  Nigel Finn

 

 

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acoustic austere british crossroads french graceful Misja Fitzgerald Michel Nick Drake strange tunings Time Of No Reply

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