She Hangs Brightly

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She Hangs Brightly
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 21, 1990
ProducerDavid Roback
Mazzy Star chronology
She Hangs Brightly
So Tonight That I Might See
Song sample
20 seconds of "Halah"

She Hangs Brightly is the debut studio album by American dream pop band Mazzy Star. It was released on May 21, 1990, by Rough Trade Records and re-released by Capitol Records later in the year.

"Blue Flower" was released as a single and reached number 29 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Four years later, "Halah" reached number 19 on the same chart after the success of "Fade into You".[1]

The album cover is a shot of the interior of Hôtel Tassel in Brussels.


It showcases the band's trademark effect with haunting guitar work and lyrics, and Hope Sandoval's detached vocals. David Roback's Robby Krieger-inspired psychedelic blues slide guitar style can be heard on the song "Free". "Ghost Highway" is another psychedelic rock track, with a fast rhythm. This song dates from the band's days as Opal and was initially slated to be the title track of Opal's second album. While not a commercial success, this album did establish Mazzy Star as a unique band with a unique sound.

"Blue Flower" is a Slapp Happy cover from the 1972 album Sort Of.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[3]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyA[5]
Los Angeles Times3.5/5 stars[6]
Orlando Sentinel4/5 stars[8]
Q4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[10]

In a review for Rolling Stone, Gina Arnold praised She Hangs Brightly as being "coldly beautiful".[10] AllMusic's Jason Ankeny described Hope Sandoval's vocals as "more sultry" than those of Opal's Kendra Smith and praised "Halah" and "Blue Flower" but criticized the album's lack of focus, calling the remaining tunes "unmemorable".[2]

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana listed She Hangs Brightly in his top fifty albums of all time.[12][13] In 2018, Pitchfork ranked the album at number 29 on its list of the 30 best dream pop albums.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Hope Sandoval and David Roback, except where noted.

1."Halah" 3:16
2."Blue Flower"3:35
3."Ride It On" 3:01
4."She Hangs Brightly" 6:24
5."I'm Sailin'"Minnie McCoy[16]3:13
6."Give You My Lovin'"Sylvia Gomez[17]3:50
7."Be My Angel" 3:17
8."Taste of Blood" 5:36
9."Ghost Highway"Roback[18]3:28
10."Free" 3:11
11."Before I Sleep" 2:10
Total length:40:28


Credits for She Hangs Brightly adapted from album liner notes.[19]


  1. ^ "Mazzy Star chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  2. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "She Hangs Brightly – Mazzy Star". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  3. ^ McLeese, Don (July 20, 1990). "California's Mazzy Star shines brightly". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  4. ^ Kot, Greg (June 14, 1990). "Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly (Rough Trade)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Sandow, Greg (May 25, 1990). "She Hangs Brightly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Cromelin, Richard (June 9, 1990). "Mazzy Star Debut a Fine Fix of Velvet Blues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly". NME: 27. July 31, 1993.
  8. ^ Gettelman, Parry (September 21, 1990). "Mazzy Star". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly". Q. 1990.
  10. ^ a b Arnold, Gina (September 6, 1990). "Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  11. ^ Cavanagh, David (July 1990). "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Select (1): 104.
  12. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Joyful Noise Recordings. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "The 30 Best Dream Pop Albums". Pitchfork. April 16, 2018. p. 1. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "ASCAP Repertoire Database for "Blue Flower"". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  16. ^ "I'm Sailin'". Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  17. ^ "BMI Repertoire Database for "Give You My Lovin'"". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  18. ^ "BMI Repertoire Database for "Ghost Highway"". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  19. ^ She Hangs Brightly (liner notes). Mazzy Star. Rough Trade Records. 1990. ROUGH US77-2.CS1 maint: others (link)