Articles: Review ( - January 2002)

The maudlin overtones of alt country have reached Norway and found a curiously appropriate berth in Thomas Hansen, eccentric former postman and self-ordained saint. Even though he opens the I'm Coming Home by crooning, "I've never seen a cowboy before," the trademark country desolation is abundantly evident among the sweet despair. Hansen brings a refreshingly skewed vision to the alt country genre. Impulsive yodelling rubs shoulders with a range of percussion instruments unknown outside the weird and wonderful world of St Thomas and the lonesome, eerie quality of the American dustbowl is transferred to the Arctic tundra with haunting effects. Oddly affecting rather than wilfully odd, I'm Coming Home reveals a welcome new voice in an often regimented idiom. Hansen has a solid grounding in the essential Neil Young albums, and the bleak countrified overtones of Will Oldham filter through this strangely warming collection. As Hansen rightly sings on "Into the Forest", "yes I'm special, but it hurts".


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