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Review: 'Hanson, Cory'
'Pale Horse Rider'   

-  Label: 'Drag City'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '12.3.21.'-  Catalogue No: 'DC752'

Our Rating:
Pale Horse Rider is Cory Hanson's second solo album, being best known for being in Wand and prior to that in W-H-I-T-E but not in Hanson. The album is notionally about Los Angeles but in a quiet understated and oblique way.

The album opens with the slow and pensive Paper Fog that evokes the more plaintive end of Neil Young, with some lovely slide guitar, or is it lap steel to soothe your aching soul too, as the woozy instrumental break unfolds.

Angeles has dispensed with the Los and added a slowly thumping bass drum beat and carefully picked acoustic guitar, it feels brittle and a little broken as they sit at another therapy session waiting to be lifted up and healed, not sure the city of angels is really in the healing business though.

Pale Horse Rider sounds like a very gentle theme song for a pastoral western as the lyrics about the devil comes to visit being a perfect lead into a dark and twisted tale that is so wrapped up in beautiful music that you almost don't register all the sadness in the lyrics and the lovely backing singers.

Necklace is a short ambient interlude piece that feels more like library music than anything. Bird Of Paradise isn't a cover of the Snowy White classic sadly, but instead is a slowly evocative string led song of despair and is rather downbeat and heartbroken.

Limited Hangout might be about the short time you get to hang out with your kids if you've separated from your partner, this has lovely gentle acoustic guitar set against what almost sounds like airplane noises and the wistful lyrics unfold.

Vegas Knights is a slow song of gambling and despair in the desert that has an old fashioned bucolic folk song feel to it. Surface to Air is another short interlude of library music this time almost like the countdown music to another missile strike.

Another Story From The Centre of the Earth is another mellow Neil Young style song this time that's almost 8 minutes long. This is a tale of insomnia and other paranoia's, the Crazy Horse style guitar solo at the end is worth hearing alone it is magnificent.

The album closes with Pigs a slow sparse song that is barely there at all, but all the more beautiful because it barely there.

Find out more at https://www.dragcity.com/products/pale-horse-rider where you can order it on Cassette or CD or vinyl. https://coryhanson.bandcamp.com/album/pale-horse-rider

  author: simonovitch

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