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20 Watts Reviews The Tallest Man On Earth’s The Wild Hunt by ambiguitron

20 Watts Reviews The Tallest Man On Earth's The Wild Hunt

PREVIEW: Visit The Tallest Man On Earth’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

Kristian Matsson returns with his tantalizingly raspy voice on his second album, “The Wild Hunt.” Matsson, the artist behind The Tallest Man On Earth moniker, brings to listeners yet another album filled with his croaky voice and quick slap-string techniques on the guitar.

To compare Matsson to Bob Dylan (which many critics have done) would be to undermine his one-man act as both a musician and performer. Aside from the fact that both artists have the scratchy, hoarse voice, Matsson is distinctively more technical with his guitar-playing and lyrical style .

“The Wild Hunt” is an upgrade from The Tallest Man On Earth’s debut, “Shallow Grave.” This time around, the Swedish export is even more nimble with his guitar plucks and his detailed lyrics, serenading a certain “darling” whose identity listeners can only speculate on. What is stagnant from “Shallow Grave” that is present in “The Wild Hunt” is Matsson’s distinctive voice. The mix of half-singing, half-screeching that he explores throughout the album makes for an ideal combination of bluegrass and folk than any wannabe hippie can appreciate.

The invigorating emotions that The Tallest Man On Earth embeds within each song of album prompts listeners to explore  a folksy realm where the raw and organic energy of Matsson’s singing rules all. “The Wild Hunt” is his imaginative concoction about love, romance and being the King of Spain.

This second album seems like Matsson’s musical ode to a lover. He sings in “The Drying Of The Lawns,” that “never have I felt such numb and pointless searchin’ true as when I set my eyes and torched the plans on the mark of you.” It’s a heartbreakingly raw reflection of Matsson’s talent as a singer-songwriter. The Tallest Man On Earth excels once again in “The Wild Hunt,” proving to listeners that a voice and guitar alone can still go a long way.

-Angela Hu

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