I’m not going to write too much about The Tallest Man on Earth album, for 2 reasons. Firstly there’s undoubtedly some very detailed reviews out there already which microscopically analyse every note and word, far more comprehensively than I ever could. Secondly I know from looking at our Visitor numbers that most people are pretty aware of the ‘bigger’ releases and tend to refer to us for the newer and more up and coming artists.
But not everyone in the UK will have come across Tallest Man on Earth anyway, and its good to be able to briefly document some thoughts, for the uninitiated in particular. So this is Kristian Matssons (the artist that is The Tallest Man on Earth ) 4th album, following his last release ‘Theres no Leaving Now’. Recorded in a number of different places, it ventures further away from the early releases which were just Matsson alone with his acoustic guitar, but it maintains that character and personality that he stamps on all his releases. In general i like the gradual instrumental additions that he’s made over the years.
Theres no doubt that Matssons voice has developed over the albums too, its softer and more natural sounding, but it also feels more melancholy - occasionally pleading and slightly desperate, with the opening track ‘Fields of Our Home’ possibly being a good example. And in general the tone of ‘Dark Bird if Home’ is dark, lyrically very pointed, precise and with the occasional 4 letter word thrown in to add emphasis.
Not that you should be overly worried about this all being too downbeat, the album would probably only score about 6/10 in on our ‘Mirel Wagner Scale of Bleakness’, the songs are written in a relaxed style, and occasionally jaunty as in ‘Beginners’. ‘Timothy’ has a skipping country feel to it, and the obvious highlight ‘Little Nowhere Towns’ is a beautiful song, as is the title track.
Ive probably listened to this album more than any other release recently, partly because I do like it, and partly because I’m conscious that there’s so much I should be discovering within it. And if truth be told, as personal as Kristian Matssons songwriting is, and as hard as I’ve tried, I don’t always feel an emotional connection to his songs. But I still really enjoy them, and ‘Dark Bird is Home’ is a really good album, full of interesting songs, which is a natural progression from his previous album, as well as being a most welcome addition to the ‘Tallest Man on Earth’ collection.
Nordic Music Review 8/10