Articles: ST. THOMAS: I'm Coming Home (CMJ New Music Report - May 6th 2002)

St. Thomas is the moniker used by Norwegian folk hero Thomas Hansen and his ever-changing backup group, which can range in members from two to 10 people. Incorporating banjos, fiddles, harmonica, organ and soft snare brushes into his delicate blend of guitar plucks and a quivering falsetto that is sure to bring many Neil Young comparisons, Hansen forges a collection of backwoods country tunes that could just as easily make themselves at home on the range. I'm Coming Home marks St. Thomas' first dabble on U.S. soil, despite the fact that Hansen's a virtual pop star back home - he spent much of 2001 in the Norwegian Top 10. Even though these 12 tracks are undeniably country, each has a fragile pop quality that causes the listener to want to hold these beautiful hymns close to their heart. Upbeat opener "The Cool Song" seems the perfect campfire anthem, complete with sing-along choruses and harmonica bursts. "Take A Dance With Me" is a harrowing tale of a man trapped by fear and loneliness ("So come on get along, hang out with me… take a dance with me") that features brooding violins and a banjo melody that makes you want to bring Hansen into your circle of friends. Even though this will be St. Thomas' first time in the States, this Norwegian cowboy truly is Coming Home.

LOUIS MILLER.



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