Folk | Heartland Rock
Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, better known by his moniker Tallest Man On Earth, is a worthy successor to the folk legacy of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. His music is authentic and heartfelt and thoroughly captivating. This is his first album with a band behind him and it’s a massive improvement. The mellow backdrop for his music gives it a greater depth and lightens the mood, adding an abundance of optimism to shine through the dark subject matter. The band doesn’t just stay in the background however, occasional flourishes such as in “Timothy” add complexity to keep things interesting and stop the album getting bogged down in stereotypical folk territory. Sure, Kristian’s voice takes some warming to, but that didn’t stop Bob Dylan (who I’m sure he’s fed up of being compared to, but they do sound similar!) from making good music. A fair amount of the lyrics are rather vague but there are certainly some flashes of brilliance where his words connect on a personal level. Really that’s where Dark Bird consistently excels; the affinity it has with the audience. A lot of emotion and personal struggle went into writing the songs and it shows. It’s an album that you can’t help but be moved by. He’s not quite head and shoulders above the rest, but The Tallest Man On Earth has good reason to stand proud.