Three years ago, I listened to the first of three albums before Nick Drake died at the tender age of 26. When I first listened to him, I was that much closer to age that he died, now I am older it really hits more just how young he actually was.
Since my husband is doing his own album challenge, using the 1001 Albums book, I am leap-frogging over Drake’s second album Bryter Layter in order to listen to Pink Moon. After his previous albums didn’t take off commercially, this was an album that I am amazed was actually produced. Especially back in the 1970s when you couldn’t just self-release on a Soundcloud. Guess he did well enough for them to give it another punt.
Unlike the well-produced Five Leaves Left, Pink Moon is just Drake and his guitar – making for a more intimate sounding album. Seeing that he was also further along in his mental illness, and not taking his antidepressants because of interactions with the marijuana he smoked – the content and feeling of this album is further alone into his decline. I guess the second album will see a mid-point between the two.
That is not to say that this album destroys you like A Crow Looked At Me. The depressiveness is there, but it’s almost cozy. My husband referred to it as a depression blanket, and that’s pretty much a perfect way to describe it. It’s more a chilled out folk album with a pronounced melancholy slant (much like some songs from Bonny Light Horseman or Sufjan Steven’s Seven Swans) which makes it perfect as a mellow backing music for a lot of my coding work when I just want to go with the flow rather than power through.