There's not a single dud in the trilogy of albums that singer/songwriter Nick Drake released during his all-too-short career. And 1969's Five Leaves Left--his first album--is certainly no exception. Drake's sensitive guitar work and sensitive vocals are backed by the baroque sounds of a chamber string group, and the platter's lyrics show maturity well beyond the age of their 20-year-old creator. Sparser than its follow-up, the jazzy Bryter Layter, but less tortured than Drake's dark final chapter, Pink Moon, Five Leaves Left is a classic British folk disc. Songs like "River Man," "The Thoughts of Mary Jane," and "Day Is Done" are among Drake's finest moments. J.V.
Nick Drake - River Man