Pin It
Favorite

CD Review - Nick Drake 

by John Parks


Originally released in 1970, Nick Drake's Bryter Layter constitutes one third of the recent reissue of his back catalogue. This trio has been re-packaged, digitally re-mastered, and enhanced with lyrics and additional photos. Drake died in 1974 at the age of 26 with much speculation over the possible cause (suicide or an accidental overdose on prescription drugs?). His short life and music have been highly influential on the sensitive and the melancholy. Listen to Stuart Murdoch of current darling Belle and Sebastian to hear a strong Drakian influence in both voice and stance.


Bryter Layter is a collection of 10 songs that showcases strong songwriting and impressive arrangements. Drake's voice is languid, haunting, confident and wise. His darkly romantic imagery paints pictures of English weather and longing. Much has been made of Drake's depression (yes, the isolation is easy to pick up), but one ends this record with a sense of beauty and optimism. The musical backdrop is a mesh of Drake's acoustic guitar, along with jazzy piano and drums, saxophone and other accompaniment. John Cale appears on viola, harpsichord and piano.


Drake's contemporaries like Donovan and Van Morrison went on to enjoy long careers. One cannot help but wonder what he would have been capable of creating if his life had not ended so abruptly. Bryter Layter is a gem which asks deep questions, searches for meaning and basks in its youthful beauty, much like the work of John Keats. On "Northern Sky," Drake probes, "Would you love me through the winter/Would you love me 'til I'm dead/Oh, if you would and you could/Come blow your horn on high."

  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights

Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights @ Manito Park

Through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by John Parks

  • CD Review - Radiohead

    A forgetful soul would have the pleasure of being free from all of the deconstructing that has accompanied the release of Radiohead's Kid A and recent companion, Amnesiac. The two were recorded during the same session and rumor had it that t
    • Jun 27, 2001
  • CD Review - Depeche Mode

    Over the span of their 20-year career, Depeche Mode has given a dark synthesized voice to the disaffected youth of the planet. On Exciter, their tenth studio album to date, we find the trio teaming up with Bjork producer Mark Bell. Their l
    • May 24, 2001
  • CD Review -- Paul Simon

    The year 2000 ushered in a return to original form within the music industry. Rather than charting off into uncertain waters, songwriters like U2's Bono and Paul Simon have both returned to an earlier palette. On You're the One, Simo
    • Feb 15, 2001
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation