For the past 5, 6 years Mr Mattson has impressed us with his albums. Albums that made your head shake in disbelief after finding out the man was from Sweden and not from the American woods. From the first, emotional debut ‘Shallow Grave’ through the second and more open ‘The Wild Hunt’ to his new album ‘There’s No Leaving Now’, The Tallest Man on Earth has steady been building a growing fanbase.
TNLN shows the artistic curve he has been on the last few years. This was already visible in his live shows. Where first it was just him on small stages with only acoustic guitars slowly electric guitars creeped in and now even a band joins him once in a while on stage. The sound on TNLN is therefore more varied. More electric guitar, some piano and percussion. Underneath is still his massive talent. Cryptic lyrics of wisdom from the woods of Sweden.
Playing folk songs on just an acoustic guitar can seem limiting but the songwriting has evolved. But being more refined does not mean that this album is full of songs that will become crowd favorites. It lacks a ‘Gardener’, ‘King of Spain’ of ‘Love is All’. This doesn’t at all mean The Tallest Man on Earth is on a downward spiral, the album is too good for that but it isn’t the defining work of one of the most talented songwriters around.