The Tallest Man On Earth : There's No Leaving Now
How much more growth can we expect from earth’s tallest man, aka Sweden’s Kristian Matsson? Despite owing a hefty debt to Dylan, The Tallest Man on Earth hit his stride with a confident debut (Shallow Grave) and followed it up with an even-better second album (The Wild Hunt).
There’s No Leaving Now lives up to its title, a steadfast, bedding-down of roots that is unlikely to lure in many new listeners but will be lapped up by fans already converted to his craft. Matsson’s third album sees him dipping his toe into multi-tracking, with a slight extension of instrumentation – a slide guitar here, some strings there – but the album gets by on melodies that aren’t much of a stretch from what we’ve heard before on The Wild Hunt. Instead, the lyrical themes herald a shift in the weather, with the escapism and wildness of his past work giving way to a more cautious, weary vision of the here and now.
The heavy weight toward quieter, low-tempo numbers initially raises punchier songs like 1904 and Wind And Walls as the more immediate standouts, though a new peak is hit with the intimate vocal delivery of the yearning Little Brother. On songs like this and the pared-back title track, the directness of his lyrics has finally caught up with his brittle yet forceful vocal delivery, and rustic folk melodies that never waver too far from past ventures. The question is, how much longer can he stand still in the same spot?
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Little Brother
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan BOB DYLAN, Dust Bowl Ballads WOODIE GUTHRIE, Our Endless Numbered Days IRON & WINE
In A Word: Contemplative