Bryter Layter is the second studio album by English folk singer-songwriter Nick Drake. Recorded in 1970 and released on 5 March 1971 by Island Records, it would be his last album to feature backing musicians, as his next and final studio album, Pink Moon, would have Drake perform all songs solo.Wikipedia
Two days in a row I've gotten a Nick Drake album. In fact, I have been given his entire catalog (it's sadly only three albums) in just over a week. I'm not mad about this. If anything, it's solidified the fact that Nick Drake was absolutely one of the greatest songwriters to ever live. This album was my least favorite of the three but it was still amazing. It perfectly expresses Drake's struggles with depression without being dark. It's a perfect picture of depression, honestly. It just IS without being a whole dramatic deal. The production is more involved on this album than on the one before and the one after and that detracts from the power of the songs, in my opinion. It's a testament to how damn good these songs are that the album still receives full marks from me.
I’m aware that Nick Drake felt the sounds of Bryter Layter were too full, but it’s my favorite of his three albums. Pink Moon occupies a sort of singular space for the sounds he was able to create, but this album takes what was truly great about Five Leaves Left and elevates it with compositions that compliment Drake’s forlorn voice and searching lyrics. I love this album. 9.5/10.
A depressed man sings 7 in-differentiable sounding melancholic, nostalgic songs (plus 3 instrumentals) while strumming an acoustic guitar to a pretty but generic easy-listening background.
This shit boring. Like coffe shop music but not a Starbucks. like a cofee shop the clientele would go to purely cause it’s not a Starbucks
Reading up on this I was surprised that I hadn't previously known of the familiar faces doing backing instrumentals... Good but I think Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon surpass this one.
“One of these things” sounded like a collaboration with Dr Suess. But did like Northern Sky. Blake was the one kid in English class that fist pumped when the teacher said”Today is learning poetry day” while the other 25 booed😣
Dude made some of the best folk music ever. RIP
In terms of pure folk beauty, the high points on this album are about as good as it gets. Overall, it’s a little inconsistent - but when it hits its peaks - damn.
I like all three of his albums, but haven't listened for a couple years. I remember the debut one best, which has a '60s folky sound turned melancholy. This one has some more upbeat stuff, but Drake's distinctive vocals give it all an edge of darkness. The music is great, and his lyrics so striking. His voice isn't technically great, but spot-on for the art he created. I can't think of anything I would change, and the album realises Drake's peculiar vision.
Some of these songs sound like the ones on Sesame Street when they were all, "Look, here's some happy penguins." This album is delicious. I love Nick Drake.
My cohorts, a quick check of my earlier reviews will reveal that I gave a shiny 5 stars to Nick Drake first album, Five Leaves Left. Here, we have poor Nick's second album, Bryter Layter. Out of the classic Nick Drake trilogy, Bryter Layter is the one I listened to the most infrequently. Don't misunderstand me, I didn't consider it in any way a bad album, but the outright prettiness of Five Leaves Later and the starkness of Pink Moon meant they were the ones that hypnotised me. So in my head, Bryter Layter became the slightly impoverished relative by default. This was of course imbecilic of me. Bryter Layter continues Nick Drake's faultless track record whilst remaining particular to itself. Bryter Layter is in no way a rehash of Five Leaves Left, but instead shows dear Nick developing his style by exploring new musical vistas. Now, Bryter Layter is not as musically eclectic as Five Leaves Left, but that is not to its detriment. To say that Bryter Layter is more coherent is not the right term, but its consonance definitely stands out as a progression from Five Leaves Later. Lyrically, we have still the gentle sadness laying foggily over the music. Bryter Layter does not evoke death as Five Leaves Left does, nor is it as raw as Pink Moon, so we have the paradox that the listener feels Bryter Layter to be Nick Drake's healthiest record, despite the album's loneliness and remorse. Also, note that several songs concern love, albeit love tinged with inexact regret. A more remarkable addition to sweet Nick's arsenal is humour. In One of These Things First, a paean to a lost love, he lists the choices he could have pursued, how he could have been a sailor or a cook. But then he muses that he could have been a signpost or a whistle. Since this is Nick Drake, the absurdity is understated, but it is still there. Finally, in perhaps the album's best song, Northern Sky, we have one of the rarest and most precious qualities in a Nick Drake song: hope. Is Bryter Layter an anomaly in the Nick Drake canon? No, that's far too strong a reading. But it does partially dispel the notion that all his work was written under the gaze of the black-eyed dog. A wonderful record that entices the listener to luxuriate in its nuances.
Gone way too soon, Nick Drake had a well-balanced talent that most singer-songwriters do not. He was a musician who knew how to put words to music, and equally put music to words. Many singer-songwriters tend to lean heavily in either direction relying on musicians to put music to mindless drivel (e.g. Suzanne Vega) or putting less than on par words on to otherwise really great music (e.g. Tom Waits). Nick Drake does so well at both, that the listener wants to hear both giving neither favor over the other, hard-pressed to find fault with the lyricist and musician. Nick Drake was truly special and his talent is sorely missed.
The opening is regal with the strings and acoustic. A lush, calm, and exquisite entrance. Second track definitely feels like Drake songs I know, sets a quickened pace and we are off. I love the sax in Chimes of a City Clock, a track I've loved a long time. It is a very mature sound far from the reckless abandon of 80's sax. Perfectly understated and not saccharin. I'm sure I am not alone in thinking that 'Fly' is superb. I feel the early notes of 'Poor Boy' are the weakest section of the album, the melody getting lost a bit with over-complex transitions. The angelic background singing pulls it all back together, however, and then this triumph rises to a completely harmonized sonic tunnel that gives way to a just slightly dirtier sax outburst and I'm all in! Northern Sky is excellent and an all time favorite. The album ends on a low note for me as it barely averts drifting into 70's schmaltz.
This is the second-best of Nick Drake's albums - the best being Pink Moon. If you've never heard. Nick Drake before, it's jaw droppingly good. Beautiful melodies, completely original guitar style, softly understated vocals all add up to wonderful songs. John Martyn fans will particularly love Nick Drake - they were friends and were on the same record label. Solid Air was written about him. Both turned out to be tragic figures and Nick Drake's story is especially sad. The cover photo on this album is hugely evocative - you can almost feel the pain and his internal struggle.
Not my favorite flavor of Nick Drake, but useful from a completist perspective.
Gentle folky music with a bit of a jazzy, funky influence. It sounds like a bit of an odd combo, but it works surprisingly well. The fact that it's so relaxed means that I think it would work well as background music in a coffee shop, but I can't imagine somebody saying "Bryter Layter is my favorite album".
It was ok. I listened to it yesterday and really cant recall a single thing about it so that should say a lot. I would have remembered if it was bad though.
Was never really a fan of country, but it was pretty alright as far as it goes.
not another nick drake
It's hard to imagine a better set of music in this genre. It isn't exactly my speed, at least at the beginning, but the execution captured me. It's human-scale music that reaches the infinite. The guitar operates as the heartbeat of the album, leaving space for jazzy elements which peak on Fly and Poor Boy.
Pretty cool really like northern sky
So perfect for what i needed
Beautiful album, and I’d never heard of him before. Short, tragic life. Music that is ahead of his time. Some bossa nova influences
One of my favourite albums that I don’t listen to enough. Every time I do put it on I wonder why that is. Maybe it’s a time and place sort of album? I remember it being one I’d listen to on long bus journeys through South America and it was perfect. Whilst walking through rush hour London, not so much. Anyway, such a rich album of sounds and melodies and his voice is so nice to just sit back and enjoy. A five star album if ever there was one.
Such beautiful melancholy music. Such a talent. So sad what a troubled life he led and how little recognition he received during his lifetime
Love this one
Great way to start the week.
These are all gonna be 5 stars
YAY YAY YAY
First time listening Nick Drake. Very calming album. I am sad he didn’t get the recognition he deserved when he was alive. I will definitely listen his another albums and put my favorites on my playlists.
Love the delicate and intricate instrumentation. (That acoustic guitar!👌🏽🤤) Nick Drakes vocals blend well with this style of music, but could be lacking in emotion/power? That flute goes hard on the title track Bryter Layter. The sax hits on Poor Boy. Northern sky is simply a wonderful track. Great album with a mysterious somber vibe.
Soft and smooth without being uninteresting. Great album, completely new to me
5/5 - Excellent; Like a fore runner to James Taylor but more experimental; loved it
This is really good. Great production. At first I didn't know about his singing style, but with the lush instrumentals and the vivid imagery in the lyrics, it all spins together into a really memorable experience.
Out of his 3 albums. This albums the most well rounded. Containing an actual backing band rather than Drake himself plus Orchestra/Drake just playing guitar (in reference to his debut and last album respectively).
3 albums now 50yrs old. Each one mind blowing. An ephemeral talent never seen before or since.
Такой приятный альбом! Казалось, что я слушаю саундтрек своего дня, наслаждаюсь переливами мелодий и инструментов. Очень интересно было прочитать про жизнь этого исполнителя. Чудесная музыка.
Это лучшее, что я слышала за долгое время
A classic Nick Drake album - it is perfect, goes beyond English Folk and clearly belongs to this list.
Lovely, chilled out shops and bars
it was fine.
One of my absolute favourite albums. Near perfect.
A truly beautiful album that I will return to & listen to many times. Northern Sky, Poor Boy & Hazy Jane are all outstanding
This is hitting me just right. His voice is so sincere, so calming with tinges of melancholy, but a great sense of beauty and hope.
Sublime. Sadly under-appreciated during his life.
Nick drake is one of the all time greats
Absolutely beautiful album. I don't know what else to say. This has definitely been my favorite album so far.
Very chill and upbeat vibe.
Lots of great sounds. Great integration of different musical styles into something original. Surprised it was made in 1978!
Nearly perfect. Nick's hardest rocking album but still poignant and lyrical and beautiful. 5 🌟
What a beautiful album. I love the arrangements, the way saxophone pops up in "at the chime of a city clock", the piano in "Poor Boy", the decision to start and end with an instrumental track. It all adds another dimension to his voice and song writing.
Mellow, folky, full of horns. Great Sunday morning album.
Wow. Loved this. Obvious comparisons with Belle & Sebastian, but wished I’d found this a long time ago. Play on repeat!
I love his style, I’m a sucker for guitar, voice is very smooth. Perfectly executed. If this isn’t a 5 for me, I don’t know what is.
One of the best songwriters I had never checked out before I started this challenge.
Initially I thought that Bryter Layter wasn't as good as Pink Moon which I got to listen to properly for the first time last week. I'm still giving it 5 stars as it is an amazing album. The problem I had was that I was so ready to compare the two which was my error. Where Pink Moon was Nick Drake's soul stripped bare this is his heart, with him trying to show the world his talent that we didn't get to experience for long. I can hear attempts to be commercially friendly, a little bit of Van Morrison, a taste of the Stones but this is very much Nick Drake. I really can see why he so revered now.
I really enjoyed this album. It has lovely instrumentation, soothing lyrics. Nick Drake has a voice which blends but adds a lot of dimension to the musical arrangements. Now that I’ve listened to 2/3 of his albums, I can say that I’m a big fan. Favorite tracks: “Hazy Jane II,” “Poor Boy” and “Northern Sky.”
As I listened, I tried to imagine how I would feel about Nick Drake if this was my first introduction to him. I honestly don't know if I would have loved the album. It is very relaxing, though. But having already fallen for Nick Drake and having listened to this album a few times in the past, I know that I love the album now.
My introduction to Nick Drake came from two of the songs from this album, which were on movie soundtrack albums I bought in the early 2000s. They have been favorite tracks ever since. It was wonderful to hear this whole album, which was a little less ethereal than Five Leaves Left, but no less beautiful.
This is a masterpiece. So sad that he died so young. "Could've Been" has always been a favorite of mine.
I love his voice and the tone and style of this music. great album.
Truly a sonic journey. Once again, you can hear how this influences future works from so many
Holy hell this is amazing, so soft and sensual, but somehow innocent as well.
The excellent soft and careful vocals I remember from his debut, with a little extra spunk brought in from the fantastic ensemble of backing musicians. This sophomore album easily lives up to the debut.
If you’re like me and found out about Nick Drake through Pink Moon you’d probably be surprised hearing some of the more lavish arrangements found on this album. For example, Poor Boy features female backing vocals straight out of a soul song. But whereas you might think that such treatment would obscure the songwriting, it instead enhances it. The upbeat “Hazy Jane II”, drifting “One Of These Things First”, sublime “Northern Lights” and leisurely “Sunday” mark some of the best moments in his all too short career, not to mention every other song on the album
One of my favourite albums ever. I am a sucker for lush strings, and even though this album isn't as widely loved as Five Leaves Left or Pink Moon, I think it's something very special. Introduction leading into Hazy Jane II is one of my favourite album openings and it never fails to make my heart swell.
Perfect Sunday listenjng
This British singer/songwriter has been an influence for so many of my favorite artists and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful instrumentation coupled with an almost whisper of a vocal style.
Hauntingly beautiful. I'm glad the world got to appreciate Nick Drake. I'm said he never knew.
i have the fattiest crush on this mystical man and all the sweet sounds he makes.
This is a really great album. Hazy Jane 1 & 2, One of These Things First, Poor Boy, all great, great songs
Juste du bonheur quoi
Очень красивый и мелодичный альбом. Кратко, но слов нет :)
Garden State moment
All 3 Nick Drake albums are 5s, but this one is my favourite. Shows off his underrated guitar work and of course the songwriting is stellar. Poor Boy is my favorite but each song has their own charms. 5 🌟
Amazing 70s folk. Extremely well written and relaxing. Excellent song writing talent.
I listen to Pink Moon so much I forgot how good this album is.
🟦 91 🥇 One of these things first 🥈 Poor boy 🥉 Northern sky
In some ways over-orchestrated compared to FLL - time can only just be kind to the "hello trees" instrumentals, but Poor Boy and Northern Sky are sublime. Anyone else hear Hazey Jane I and think it anticipated Dire Straits by 8 years?
This album is one of my favourite, I absolutely adore nick drake, although this is my least favourite drake record. The jazz,funk and folk sound Is majestic and captivating, northern sky is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, strong 10
First time ever hearing Nick Drake, never stumbled across his work before, despite being 70s rock. The acoustic guitar is beautiful, his voice is smooth and soothing, what a lovely experience. Im a bit biased as this is the type of music i enjoy a lot, but still, one of the better albums ive gotten since starting this.
This is an excellent album, so much so that I listened to the whole back catalogue of Nick Drake and researched a bit more about his life. Tragic that he died only at 26, but leaving a legacy of his beautiful voice and compositions which remain timeless.
Cool first album. I’ve already listened to this one many times. Really helps calm me down when I’m feeling anxious. Really interesting melodies and vocals.
"Bryter Layter" is the second of three studio albums from English singer-songwriter Nick Drake and last one with backing musicians. And what a backing he had: Members of Fairport Convention (Richard Thompson, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks), John Cale and Beach Boy sessions musicians Mike Kovalski and Ed Carter. This is beautiful sounding music and singing - gentle, relaxing and quiet. The lyrics themselves are poetic but also sad or melancholy which is in contrast to the music. The music itself is much happier with great acoustic guitars, jazzy with horns and also somewhat Baroque pop with the string arrangements. I'm always a sucker for dichotomies in lyrics and the music; this is a great album. Nick Drake suffered from depression and would die four years from a drug overdose (suspect suicide). His music would and continues to grow in popularity and influence. I definitely hear that today. The album begins with an instrumental which then goes into "Hazey Jane II". The horns and the Backing Fairport Convention gives the music a majestic, rollicking and happy feel. I think Drake is singing about the hard reality of society. Here is where I hear major influences in the band Belle & Sebastian's music. "At the Chime of a City Clock" has a more melancholy feel and Baroque pop with the added strings and horns. Drake had moved to London from the country and this song gives his observations. "Poor Boy" appears to have very personal lyrics about Drake himself and his introverted nature. Great piano by session-player Chris McGregor. There are backing gospel singers which some critics don't like. I found it find. "Northern Sky" is perhaps my favorite song on the album. John Cale adds a lot with his piano playing. Interesting drums. A sad love song. I highly recommend this album. I seem to gain a little more with each listen. Any one of Nick Drake's albums are worth checking out.
Really difficult to rate, since is not the type of album I’m used to Most of the songs are pretty warming, and they all individually gave me the sensation of being in different Scenarios Considering I don’t have anything to compare with, my rate could be different, but I really liked it Kinda remembers me of my dad
mi primera vez escuchando este album y a nick drake, realmente me lleve una sorpresa, desde la armoniosa bienvenida con "introduction" hasta la hermosa melodia del final con "sunday" el album me encantó. sin duda una de las mejores cosas que escuché. su melancolia, dulce melodia y prolijidad en general es impecable. recomendadisimo a cualquier oido fav song: at the chime of a city clock ☆ one of these things first ☆ poor boy northern sky 5.0
Ohhhh it's an absolute beauty. So formative for me. My neighbour in Kentish Town whilst I was at university (who was almost definitely an arms dealer???) introduced me to Nick Drake and this is mayyyybe my fave Nicky D album. It's so insanely beautiful. It's sad and haunting but also magical and fairytale. No other album has ever made me feel the same feels as this one and probably never will, that's mostly down to Nick's voice and musical style but also this specific album too. LOVE it.
Hazey Jane II basically made the cross that Belle and Sebastian's entire career scored. Northern Sky is one of the most beautiful songs ever. This a really great album and I love it. One of These Things first was on a freebie compilation on a magazine when I was 14 and was my way to Nick. A lovely way to spend 40 minutes - if I have only one criticism, I wasn't a fan of the saxophone.
I was so impressed by this man I knew nothing about. I swear that he had influenced every singer songwriter of the past 50 years
Outstanding mixing/recording, and the voice of a songbird. Lovely soft lyrics, and a mix of piano, sax, and guitar that is simply sublime.
This man allows me to stop listening to music. his voice is amazing, his compositions are wonderful, this album is beautiful, the more i listen the more my ears just need him and only him
You wont hear many more charming and unconfrontational albums as this
hazy Jane II: Love his voice wtf Album cover reminds me of something i can’t remember what I’m getting early paolo I want to lie in grass Clock song: sax is nice but mum wouldn’t like it One of these things: I’m getting the same grassy feel A more low-key going up the country wonder what year 1970 so like 20 years earlier that’s crazy It’s making me emotional Hazy Jane I: why after 2 Fly: Bob Dylan kinda idk Poor boy: jazzy piano makes me want to cry but good Sunday:forgot to write in a bunch but still appreciating the album Oh shit no is that it Fuckkkkkk Easy 8/10