Album Review
The Tallest Man On Earth - Sometimes the... Album Cover

The Tallest Man On Earth - Sometimes the...

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The Tallest Man On Earth Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird EP
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Record Label: Dead Oceans Records
Good things come to those who wait, but sometimes, it's the opposite that's true. Just five months after introducing his sophomore full length Wild Hunt earlier this year, Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. The Tallest Man On Earth, has already returned with Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird EP, a cute but brief 5 song offering. He sounds much more subdued on this release, even exhausted at times (you won’t find any playful quips about wanting to be the “King of Spain” here), but he does it with the artistry and grace we’ve come to expect from him all the same. We couldn’t have expected better from music that couldn’t have come sooner.

Matsson spins his usual web of elaborate imagery here; in “Thrown Right At Me,” he draws up a precious winter scene when he sings “And horses trot faster ‘til sparrows fall down, but you just fall, laughin’ to the snow on the ground.” And he’ll watch a few eyes moisten when he gets sentimental in “Tangle In This Trampled Wheat” over busy notes harped from his guitar: “I only comfort in the brittleness of days when I can hold what I just found. In the young tie-dyes of the laughing child, and the dirtiest sweater he owns.” But he also gets more transparent and direct than we’re used to from him at times, like when he asks “Oh my Lord, why am I not strong?” midway through the EP. It’s a spectacular moment when several of his characters turn to the divine for answers because the theme fits his gentle music so well.

Of interest is the soulful ballad “The Dreamer,” where Matsson trades his signature acoustic plucks for solid chords from an electric guitar. The track is a resounding success musically, and its implication should be a reason to celebrate for Tallest Man fans: Matsson’s songwriting is maturing and evolving for the better. That goes for his vocal style, too; instead of just assuming the Dylan croak for the whole album, he frequently adds expression here to further animate his lyrics (for example, he sounds inebriated when he sings “how you’re the light over me” in “The Dreamer”).

“Oh sometimes the blues is just a passing bird” goes the EP’s central line, but Mattson is quick to add, “why can’t that always be?” There’s nothing that warms the soul like some good old honesty, and Matsson wails it perfectly. With Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird EP, he does more than just add to his collection of tunes – he reaffirms his commitment to expressing the human spirit. And as identifiers with that spirit, we lean forward, eager to hear more.

Recommended If You LikeBob Dylan, Bon Iver, Deer Tick
Album InfoTrack listing:
1. Little River
2. The Dreamer
3. Like the Wheel
4. Tangle In This Trampled Wheat
5. Thrown Right At Me
This review is a user submitted review from Matthew Tsai. You can see all of Matthew Tsai's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 28
10:07 PM on 09/17/10
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vivatoto56's Avatar
Such a great EP.
10:18 PM on 09/17/10
Oh, but the world is a mess.
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ashiex3's Avatar
I love this EP.
10:41 PM on 09/17/10
childhood is a joke
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Moritz421's Avatar
Awesome EP.
10:43 PM on 09/17/10
Welcome to the Blue Hell
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brenByah's Avatar
Swedish Bob Dylan does it again!
11:18 PM on 09/17/10
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drevans18's Avatar
He really is incredible. Every release he puts out just gets better and better. I could listen to him every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.
11:38 PM on 09/17/10
Disgruntled wheat thins enthusiast
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mymusicismylife's Avatar
11:40 PM on 09/17/10
and then what happens?
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spansen's Avatar
he is great. glad to have gotten to see him this past week. :)
11:40 PM on 09/17/10
easy come and easy go, whatever
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Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
The Wild Hunt is easily top ten for this year. Probably top 5
11:48 PM on 09/17/10
Fight the Cancer
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rawspinner's Avatar
dude's not that tall.
12:04 AM on 09/18/10
Trying to do some good.
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Meeze's Avatar
this man puts out some of the most legit music!
12:23 AM on 09/18/10
Matt Chylak
contextblues.wordpress.co m
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Matt Chylak's Avatar
if this guy doesn't get superfamous, i'm going to be disappointed in the world
07:08 AM on 09/18/10
Thank God you see me the way you do
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Someone'sCoat's Avatar
if this guy doesn't get superfamous, i'm going to be disappointed in the world
He won't. Just how the music industry works. Won't even get Damien Rice famous which is just sad
07:15 AM on 09/18/10
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Gregory Robson's Avatar
Dude's on a roll. Hope he doesn't slow down. I could get use to this proficiency.
08:04 AM on 09/18/10
Matt Chylak
contextblues.wordpress.co m
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Matt Chylak's Avatar
the dreamer is the the best song he's ever written.

sometmes the BLUES is a...passing bird, and why can't that always be?

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