|Tallest Man On Earth, The / Dark Bird Is Home|
|Add Date:||2015-06-26|| ||Pull Date:||2015-08-28|| |
|Week Ending:||30 Aug||23 Aug||16 Aug||9 Aug||2 Aug||26 Jul||19 Jul||12 Jul|
"Dark Bird Is Home” The Tallest Man on Earth|
Incomparable indie rock with folk underpinnings. Kristian Matsson is a Swedish singer/songwriter who records as The Tallest Man on Earth, which at a modest 5’ 7”, is simply not the case. His earlier minimal folk-rock efforts and slightly rough voice had him compared with Bob Dylan (who also happens to be 5’ 7”. Coincidence?) This album finds Matsson taking flight in new directions. His melodies not only tug at the heart strings, but also soar and inspire. His ever-present strumming guitar is layered with keyboards, synthesizer, strings, and woodwinds — mostly played by Matsson — plus backing vocals. The lyrics remain painfully personal at times. But this album demonstrates why Matsson is still one of the best folk-rock artists today.
Recommended: 4, 10, 1, 6 (clean version), 9, 8, 3. FCCs on 2, 6,10, and possibly 5
1. (4:28) Fields of our Home – Simple strumming guitar and vocals at start (like a traditional Tallest Man on Earth song). Then, after 1:15 Matsson layers in horns, keyboards, synth strings, and finally backing vocals. Raw and melancholy. Great! ****
2. (5:01) Darkness of the Dream – FCC: “Shit” and “Fuck.” Lightly skipping, bright melody — with energetic strumming guitar. Full chorus behind vocals.
3. (3:08) Singers – Fingerpicked folk-rock. Lilting, warbling vocals. Flowing orchestral accompaniment is added. **
4. (3:37) Slow Dance – Bouncy, up-tempo melody. Piano. Soaring synths. Muted brass (or more synth?). Simple rhythm. Catchy! ****
5. (3:29) Little Nowhere Towns – Plain piano ditty about nondescript small towns. Vocals like early Paul Simon. Supposedly an FCC, but I couldn’t hear it, nor find it in any published lyrics.
6. (5:14) Sagres — FCC: “All this fuckin’ doubt.” Really catchy, almost pop-rock melody with great hooks about a town in Portugal, where Matsson goes to get away. Closest thing to a single on the album.
7. (4:20) Timothy – Cantering romp through the forest, with repeated woodwind flourishes accompanying strumming guitar.
8. (3:15) Beginners – Lighthearted and fun tune. More of an Americana feeling. Nice harmonies in the chorus. ***
9. (4:07) Seventeen – Inspiring guitar anthem. Big strumming guitars. Distant steel echoes. Piano is added. Backing vocals in the choruses. ***
10. (5:04) Dark Bird Is Home – FCC: "Oh fuck" - at 3:44, just barely audible after the last line is sung. Starts simple and minstrel-like, with a plain strummed acoustic guitar and softly sung vocals. Drums and tambourine are added at 3:20, together with big strumming guitars, synth strings and swirls, for a epic ending with a swooshing trail-out. ****
Burned Disc (5:14) Sagres (Radio Edit) – Really catchy, almost pop-rock melody with great hooks about a town in Portugal, where Matsson goes to get away. Closest thing to a single on the album. I used editing software to pan down “fuckin’” for radio play. (Check it out at 3:44 to ensure that you’re comfortable with it.) ****