Accurately reviewing a Tallest Man On Earth EP is, practically, impossible. Of course, Kristian Matsson’s musicianship is never below phenomenal, but it’s the very personal emotions that make each of his songs something beyond simple aesthetic beauty. To some people, each three minutes of forlorn wonderings and hopeless self-deprecation will be indescribably important, whilst others to who don’t relate to his lyrics will let Matsson’s heart-tearing melodies pass them by. Don’t let yourself be one of those people.
Because although it’s inevitable that his message will mean different things to different people, each track of this, his latest EP, is filled with a warm charm that’s quite at odds with the often desperate lyrics. The contradicting warmth is found in Matsson’s unmistakeable croaking, grasping voice which has become so characteristic of his music. Some have criticised his vocals as being coarse or unrefined, but, if anything, his rough approach lends his music a level of honesty and authenticity that is incredibly rare, and absolutely thrilling and unique as a result.
The short gestation between his last album “The Wild Hunt”, released earlier this year, and the release of this EP can only go further to prove Matsson’s sincerity; “Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird” didn’t happen to maintain commercial momentum or build a fan-base, it happened because Matsson had something worth saying and he knew exactly how to say it. That said, if there’s one criticism that can be fairly levelled at Matsson it’s that the front end of the EP is packed with the most touching moments of genius. Although, if we’re having to criticise him on the grounds that the bluesy wail of “The Dreamer” (the first appearance of an electric guitar in his solo career) is superior to the only-very-good “Thrown Right At Me”, then we really are being too pedantic.
It’s easy to allow him small mistakes as well, because although the blues may or may not just be a passing bird, The Tallest Man On Earth is, without a doubt, not simply a passing talent; he may well be proving himself to be one of the finest songwriters of our generation.