There are times when I actually like listening to highly processed, electronic, atmospheric music. Particularly when I'm writing, or doing something where I just want some background noise to set a mood.
There's something to be said for the moody and ethereal -
As well as the optimistic and ebullient -
But I can only take so much of this unbridled electronic energy. Too much of it and I start to feel drained, hollow, and unfulfilled. I feel like Bilbo Baggins after he held on to the ring too long: "thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped across too much bread."
And I have to return to voice, vision, and talent.
Nothing restoreth the soul like some Nick Drake. A boy who died at 26, two years before I was born, leaving behind too few perfect gems of lyric and melody. Sparely composed and simply performed, the tracks are just long enough to share their message and then get out of the way, doing their quiet work on your memory.
I've taken to playing him in the office in the mornings, when I'm doing paperwork. No one on the staff has complained. Before a particularly stressful day of customer service and corporate shenanigans, he reminds me that there can be a meaning to song, and it doesn't have to be pure product.
And that the day's struggles are temporary, even though the truest poetry endures.