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Monday, November 5, 2012

Mark’s Pick of the Week: There’s No Leaving Now by the Tallest Man on Earth

            I was knocking on wood with both my hands, and feet when I pressed play on this album.  The reason being is in my opinion; Kristian Matsson (the Tallest Man on Earth) is the most consistent musician today.  Every single album he has put out so far I have enjoyed immensely.  Unfortunately, there is always the same fear when an artist has set the bar so high.  The worst thing by far is the fear that the album may be good in its own right, but fall short when compared to its predecessors.  In spite of all this, I felt the rewards outweighed the risk, and joined the party I’m already 5 months late for.

            Without having to listen to the whole album I could already conclude one thing, it sounds very studio heavy.  His older albums were about as clear and simple as if he was sitting on a stool (yes it has to be a stool) next to me.  This is his first real dive into multi-tracking and playing with other effects a bit.  The vocals are a bit hazier, and sometimes there are faint echoes you can hear if you’re say, scrutinizing the album for a review.  Even though I personally don’t think they particularly add anything, they certainly don’t cause any harm to the tracks, and also proves Matsson is looking to experiment while still working with the formula that works.  In fact he sometimes uses it to increase what he normally does.  Check out “Little Brother” where the guitar break has multiple instruments adding a great nuance to his signature figure picking sound.

            Then came the title track.  When researching this album this song was brought up a few times as a stand out.  When it came on I didn’t even need to check the track name to know this was the one they were talking about.  The track is what “Kids on the Run” was to “The Wild Hunt” a desperate piano ballot that stands out among the other piano heavy tracks like a sunlit clearing in a forest.  It sucks on the air from the room, and demands your attention.  A very interesting experience for a song that structurally and musically is pretty simple. 

            When all is said and done I have to say The Tallest Man on Earth still has a perfect score.  This is certainly not my favorite album of his, but it’s certainly a great album.  In fact, if this is the weakest in his discography he should take that as a compliment, because this is still really stand out, and only has good things to say about what came before.  I’ll end this with "Wind and walls", a track that would feel just at home in this album as it would in “The Wild Hunt.”

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