St. Thomas

By - Apr 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Jeremy Saperstein

I’ve gotta start this review with the same thing I’m sure every other review will start with: singer/songwriter Thomas Hansen sounds remarkably like Neil Young, in lyrics, delivery and musical construction.

Okay, now that’s out of the way… If you’re already fond of the works of Mr. Young, the odds are good you’ll very much like St. Thomas as well. Formed in Norway, the band’s record is like nothing so much as country music or Americana, but from the land of the fjords, not Fords (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Without knowing him personally, I’d have to guess that English is not Hansen’s mother tongue, which leads to some inspired lyrics like:

I’ve never seen a cowboy before Never told a story so sore Hey, baby, take a look at me I think I’m ready for the kick-down I can never give you in Have you ever seen my chin An umbrella is dancing on the corner Now everything is beyond her

But it’s easy to poke fun at people who don’t use English well (late night talk show hosts prove that about our president every night). St. Thomas is exactly the sort of record to listen to in your car as you drive I-94 late at night between LaCrosse and Tomah, or in the echoes of your empty house after your lover has left, or if you can’t understand why other people think your Nick Drake records are depressing.

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