One man, a guitar, a distinctive, raw, powerful voice, some 10 songs. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s all. That’s it.
It’s everything. It’s a very strong debut by this Swedish singer-songwriter. And yes indeed, he sounds somewhat like Bob Dylan in his best days. And yes indeed, some people don’t like it because he sounds like Bob Dylan in his best days. Then I think: what is wrong with that? The thing is, I can’t resist the record and I can help it to like the record so much.
To start, Kristian Matsson has a great way of playing his accoustic guitar or his banjo. It’s not dull picking, but he fills the air with full, warm rhythm lines. Secondly, the sound of the record feels like it has been a high quality recording that has been transported through time from the forties or the fifties. Third, lyrically it’s a joy to listen to such a wonderful, almost poetic songwriter. The title track provides the line ‘Oh when I dive into the water/I've raised the bottom to be saved’. It’s the line that sticks in my head all the time. In the strong “The Gardner” Matsson starts with ‘I sense a runner in the garden/Although my judgements known to fail/Once built a steamboat in a meadow/ Cos I'd forgotten how to sail’. With his words Matsson creates all the time wonderful pictures in your head.
Most artist needs a band to perform at their best. But with Tallest Man on Earth? He only needs himself, his guitar and his voice to silence you. With his debut album he established himself as one of the most promising artists, not only in the singer-songwriter scene or folk scene but even wider.