Sunday, April 11, 2010

Album Review: The Tallest Man On Earth, "The Wild Hunt"

A reductive comparison one could draw to this record is that lord of Folk himself: Mr. Zimmerman. And such a comparison was drawn over and over to The Tallest Man On Earth's last record, Shallow Grave. But Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man..., is so much more. There is a vocal similarity, to be sure, but less than on the last album. Here, we find Matsson further exploring his upper register and utilizing guitar skills ol' Bob only wishes he could possess. There's a bit more overdubbing with the instrumentation, but it's done in a subtle way that adds nicely to the musical background - as evidenced by the banjo on Track 2 and just a little electric guitar on Track 9. Track 10 sees Matsson move from the frets to the piano, and it's a beautiful move. Lyrically, it covers your general folky tropes but in a nicely poetic way.

In addition to the flat-out greatness of the songs is the excellent production. It gives the whole album a magnificent sense of space (despite seeming so intimately recorded). But that's really what this album evokes - expansiveness. There's just something that moves in this music, and makes everything seem so limitless. This one is for the road, especially when travelling solo. Even the album cover makes such expansiveness (and road-worthiness) pretty clear.

Seriously, this album is fuckin' everything a modern folk album should be, especially when it's just a guy and his own solo instrumentation.

Play all and any tracks!!

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