Five Leaves Left - Island 1969
Several of the album's lyrics suggests a delicate and fragile mind, which might ultimately have led to his untimely death in 1974.
Musically Drake's music may at time appear a little reminiscent of Donovan's from the later 1960s. In Drake's case, though, there are strong inspiration from classical music, which is hardly the case with Donovan.
The album contains several of Drake's best and most beloved songs. Among them "Cello Song," "Time Has Told Me," "Way to Blue" and "Thoughts of Mary Jane"
The Instrumentation is in most cases, sparse, with Drake's beautiful acoustic guitar as the turning point.
On the opening track "Time Has Told Me," one may recognize Richard Thompson's characteristic electric guitar and the sound of this number is slightly reminiscent of early Fairport Convention. Otherwise, it's Danny Thompson (Pentangle) who appears most frequently on the record. Also Strings-arranger Robert Kirby has put a strong stamp on several of the album's key tracks, "Way to Blue" Day is Done ", The Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Fruit Tree".
Summed up this is very fine album that wins for each new listen. If you are not familiar with Drake's music in advance, however, I recommend that you start with the sequel "Bryter Layter", which is, without being lightweight at all, probably easier to fall for.