Pink Moon & Sylvia Plath

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.

Pink Moon & Sylvia Plath

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