The prestigious title of Tallest Man On Earth, according to Guinness, belongs to Xi Shun, who nearly stands a very impressive 8 ½ feet tall. So one should not take the recording moniker of Sweden’s Kristian Matsson literally. I couldn’t find his name anywhere in the top 10. He is, for all intents and purposes, full of shit in making this claim. Perhaps he is the tallest man on his block, or maybe even his hometown. He could be the tallest man on Gravitation Records, but I don’t know that for sure. What I do know about him is that his 2008 album Shallow Grave is absolutely stunning - it‘s another record in a series I‘ve come across since posting my 20 favorites of the year that would‘ve, could‘ve, should‘ve been included. With a bullet.
I’d heard the name here and there over the past 6 months or so, but it wasn’t until the recommendation of a trusted friend last week that I picked up Shallow Grave. I think I’ve listened to it everyday since. In short, I haven’t heard a singer/songwriter as compelling with just acoustic guitar and vocals in a long, long time. The Tallest Man On Earth is indeed Kristian Matsson, a guy who’s dead-waking voice is a clearer, cleaned up version of Dylan’s circa World Gone Wrong. Along with the distinctive vocals, these 10 songs feature a combination of astute lyrics, stark directness, and fret buzzing acoustics. With songs this solid, size don’t matter.
MP3 :: The Sparrow And The Medicine
MP3 :: Pistol Dreams
(from Shallow Grave. Buy here)