Is it wrong I like Pink Moon more than any other Nick Drake album because, in comparison to Five Leaves Left or Bryter Layter, Nick doesn’t sound like he’s trying to be a pop star? No, wait – it’s not that he’s trying to sound like a pop star.
On Pink Moon, Nick just sounds broken – disillusioned and forgotten (I was greener than the hills / now I’m darker than the deepest blue / I was strong as the sun / now weaker than the palest blue). Every song feels like a massive plaintive sigh.
His two previous albums had been critically panned, and the highlights
of those sound – in the context of Pink Moon – like some kind of desperate attempt to be happy, poppy, successful.
Is it bad that I need to hear the kind of human emotional disintegration that these tiny, frail songs seem to represent?
Reading some of Plath’s poetry
gives me the same feeling – that here’s someone who’d delved so deeply into sadness that they never returned. The fact that they chose to document that journey, to me, is as important – and these days, actually more important – as those works of art which explore the heady heights of human spiritual enlightenment, love or the ecstasy of living.
Happy is easy. Sad is not.