In my youth I once bragged that I was the “Tallest Tree-Planter in BC”.  Two things: 

  1. This was definitely not true yet very few people disputed my claim.
  2. I can only barely segue this fact into the rest of this post.

The Tallest Man on Earth is not to be confused with the Tallest Tree-Planter in BC.  He is a man from Sweden who plays guitar and sings songs.  His driver’s license has him as Kristian Matsson and from a picture i found on the internet he has a moustache.  Usually the songs have more than one guitar on them, but I imagine he probably played both of them; although not at the same time I am sure.  When he sings there is something familiar about it.  It sounds like you have heard it before.

There is no getting around the fact that his voice has that same rasp as Mr. Dylan.  Compound that with the folk guitar instrumentation and you are headed for an unavoidable collision that ends in Dylan comparisons.  Now that that is on the table you can move on.  After listening to the Tallest Man on Earth you will understand that is not just derivitave Dylan.  Wearing his influences on his sleeve, way up there on the tallest shoulder on earth, Kristian Matsson delivers one of the best albums of 2008.

Highlights include ‘The Gardener’, with its simple love story lyrics gives insight into his nom de tune in the line “So I can stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe”.  It’s rowdily-strummed guitar comes to a peak 2:37-2:47 to create my favourite 10 seconds of music of the year.  

Album closer “The Wind” rounds out the record.   Sort through a series of animal themed verses including: “Like a fox on the run from the well-informed son/With the bearin’s for cannonball love/Just like nobody said where that eagle was fed” to find a picture perfect folk song that would fit into your most emotional Wes Anderson film father-son moment.

Buy it here online.

Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Grave

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