Mazzy Star's debut album is a dreamy blend of folk/pop with hints of blues and a twist of 1960s-style psychedelic rock. What really stands out, though, is Hope Sandoval's remarkable voice, by turns honeyed, strong and plaintive but always pretty damn sexy.
The most successful tracks are those with a more minimal backing to Sandoval's vocals, for example `Ride It On' and `Give You My Loving'. `I'm Sailing' shows a strong blues influence whilst `Ghost Highway' and the title track are rockier numbers. These latter songs are the albums slight weak points, the title track in particular outstays its welcome a little.
The lyrics match Sandoval's vocals beautifully - melancholy tales of absent men and unrequited love are steeped in the atmosphere of America's Deep South.
`She Hangs Brightly' is a lovely record with few faults; as mentioned the best tracks are truly exquisite. Recommended.
I only discovered Mazzy Star recently, having missed out on most of the early 90s alternative music scene. Not to everyone's taste (notably most of my family) but Hope Sandoval's dreamy disposition, beautiful voice and her troubled lyrics set her above and beyond the plethora of female singer songwriters of her era. Such a pity she turned her back on recording for so long.
Soft lilting music that makes no demands on the listener. Melodic and delightful. I was bought three Mazzy Star CD's by a friend who's got better taste than me and I am ploughing through them. Getting the thumbs up from Mum which is definitely a good sign: "soothing."
40 minutes of slow-paced alternative rock with sultry vocal performances and occasional psychedelic blues emphases. This elliptically titled debut album was recently profiled in retro music magazine Uncut magazine. It was enthuisastically described as, "the template for the band's music: soft focus, Lynchian and nocturnal", and rightly awarded a rating of 10 out of 10. It is as good as this relatively indolent group's one and only hit single - the captivating, much-covered ballad of 1994, 'Fade Into You'.
While their later offerings each have stand out songs (for many "So Tonight That I Might See" is considered a better album) Mazzy Star's She Hangs Brightly is one of those albums that I won't skip a track on. Hope Sandoval's drawling vocals would not fit in many other bands: on first listening she seems quite distant and seeing her perform on video will not dissuade this view very much (her on stage shyness is well documented). But with each play-through the effectiveness of her vocals becomes more apparent. Make no mistake, this band is elevated from good to great by Hope; intimate despite the heavy reverb, sweet yet sultry.
The songs vary in tone, from acoustic and country-style pedal steel guitars to psychedelic/dreamy effects and even a bit of blues with the motif throughout being the gentle jingle of Hope's lid-less tambourine, which adds an element of charm to some pretty depressing subject matter. There is definitely a tinge of grunge to the lyrics, which makes sense given the year this was released. In fact it is on Kurt Cobain's top 50 albums list.
There is nothing else quite like it out there, I hold hope that this or at least STTIMS will become recognised in years to come as the classic it is.
Very Mazzy Star - Not the happiest music i have ever heard but that is not why I put it on. In general I find that their albums have one or two really brilliant tracks, moving, deep and raw and the rest....could live without them.