The comparison to Keats is apt; whether consciously or not, Drake seemed to write from the Keatsian principles of negative capability and detachment: the ability to rest within mystery and not to seek answers, and the talent to leave one's ego behind and become absorbed in the fleeting beauty of the world. Many of his songs are in the second person, describing his intense loneliness and desire for communion in cool detail. The lyrics often invoke fairy tales or classic poetic images ("I never saw magic crazy as this/ I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea," he sings in "Northern Sky,"( the song from Bryter Later that many aficionados consider his apotheosis ), but they're never florid. Drake's extreme depression tempered his extreme romanticism. The songs testify both to the seductiveness of pretentious dreams and to the knowledge that such wistful hopes always fail.
Lo-fi purists should stay away from the first two albums and go directly to Pink Moon , Drake's final complete work. Only Drake's whispery vocal and forceful guitar, with an occasional dab of piano, shape these songs, whose titles are all fragments or single words. Unlike other "mad records" by artists such as Daniel Johnston or Syd Barret, Pink Moon's rough soul bears the smoothest of edges. The melodies still seduce, their execution still soothes.