Written By: Filip Teovanovic
Originality: (4 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4 / 5) Lyrics: (4 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (4 / 5)
When it comes to folk-rock niche, The Tallest Man on Earth is one of my favorite acts. Or should I say – among those who attack with acoustic guitar and strong vocal, The Tallest Man on Earth might be the best of the best. Kristian Matsson, alpha et omega of this one-man project perfected his minimalistic style before introducing Dark Bird Is A Home two years ago, the most impressive record in his discography If we are looking at it from the perspective of production. Songs dominated by vocal and guitar were replaced by lush and rich arrangements with strings, percussions and electronic effects. Thanks to the embellished and intense sound, that album ended up being on top 5 list in 2015.
The Tallest Man on Earth walks similar path on his new mini material. This time, he is collaborating with New York collective yMusic comprised of flute player, trumpet player, clarinet player, cello player and two violinists. EP includes four reinterpretations of his earlier compositions and one Joan Baez cover, a singer whose musical expression is compatible with his. When you decide to do cover of your own songs, there has to be an intriguing twist, and not just shift in arrangements. So, let’s see If The Tallest Man on Earth managed to accomplish that and whether he created a sonic surprise.
EP unfolds with “There’s No Leaving Now” which, contrary to original version that starts with piano intro, sounds warmer and more open. Cover of “East Virginia” mesmerizes with finger-picking guitar play style and beautiful background arrangement. Kristian’s rustic vocal in combination with female background vocal radiates on On “Every Page,” a track with gorgeous melody. “Revelation Blues” resembles Bob Dylan more than the original song did, which is particularly intriguing because I never saw a connection between these two artists. Probably the most famous song “Love Is All” represents a stellar interplay of electric guitar and violin, and it closes this pleasant album in triumph.
The Tallest Man On Earth with yMusic EP will go well with rainy weeks in front of us. When we survive autumn, we become the coldest men on earth and then we only deserve to listen to Bon Iver. But more about that subject in the winter months.