Norway - Full Moon 90 - 02/06/04
Let's Grow Together - The Comeback Of St. Thomas
St. Thomas is back, uh, with a vengance. Well, I sense a bit of humor put into the title of his
fourth record, Let's Grow Together - The Comeback Of St. Thomas. Less than a year has passed
since last album, the USA recorded Hey Harmony
(with contributions from people from Lambchop plus other american bands). It was as successful as
it could be in Norway, but I guess the dreams of reaching out world-wide was a bit to...beyond,
somewhere. Only a few-few-few Norwegian bands/artists get noticed abroad where most of them want
to break: in the UK and the US of A. - the main markets for rock/pop in the serious lane. Even when
singing in English. St. Thomas has charmed a lot especially in Norway with his NorwEnglish pronounciation.
I'm not so sure if the English speaking are as easy to charm. Anyway, Thomas' English has
improved, maybe not deliberately, but...yet, it has...changed.
"Yeah, here I am again..." he opens, with the
sunny, happy "Sunny Day", a more positive St. Thomas song than I've ever heard. He also gives us
songs from his dimmer corners, as "Like You Know", which is a dark and stunning piece. Great! Then
there's the countryish "Come My Way", and it makes me think of the speciality of St. Thomas: the
melodic catchyness stumbling towards you. It takes you by surprise, but in a familiar way.
"Silence Breaks Your Heart" shows the fragility of his music, and, yes, then there's the almost pastoral
folk-piece "Waltzing Around Insane". But the real gem on this album is the brilliant radio 'hit'
"An Artist With A Brilliant Disguise". One of his best songs ever! Another favorite of mine is the
closing (not counting the hidden track) "The Red Book", telling a story from Thomas' traveling the
USA I guess: "I was sitting on the bus from Atlanta, Georgia,
to Nashville, Tennesee / When an old prisoner came over and talked to me / He layed his arms around
my neck / He squeezed and looked me in the eye / Don't be shy pretty boy, he said / Smile he said").
As usual there are many trademark St. Thomas choruses going "du-diddle-diddle-da-dee-doo-da" or
"hey-la-la-lee-la-dee-da". And believe me - it works.
Thomas Hansen has done it once more. It's fascinating to get presented musical glimpses of some
of the many moods of Thomas. Let's Grow Together... is a very fine follow-up to Hey
Harmony and another step forward for Mr. Hansen. It shows proof there's a true artist behind
the somewhat clumsy and peculiar facade. I'm not the one to say he's got a brilliant disguise, but
St. Thomas sometimes unveils hints of a certain genius. Melody-wise. Never mind the English...
Copyright © 2004 St. Håvard