Sound: An album has never made such an impression like this album did the first time I listened to it. The groovy guitar riffs and the Bob Dylan-like vocals bring a powerful sound to the songs. From track to track, interest is kept by the head swaying melodies of the guitar and the powerful voice of Kristian Matsson, who goes on the moniker of The Tallest Man On Earth. This talented musician makes sure that each song on the album "Shallow Grave" keeps the listener intrigued and entertained.
The sound on "Shallow Grave" does not alter greatly between songs. They mainly consist of just Kristian and his guitar. However, each song is special on it's own. Kristian manages to form beautiful, intricate pieces of folk music that catches the ear of many music enthusiasts. Tracks like "I won't Be Found" and "The Gardener" definitely stood out for me helped gain interest for this artist and the album.
Compared to other folk artists, The Tallest Man On Earth stands out from the rest of them. Instead of creating slow, ballad-like songs like some other folk singer, he creates a more energetic and lively tone with his songs. This is obvious on the album. He is often loud with his vocals, unleashing a powerful, strong singing style. His guitar work is also more than just chords. He often plays a less simplistic style and adds a little energy to his playing. The track "Pistol Dreams" is a great example of this. // 9
Lyrics: The Tallest Man On Earth provides quality, poetic lyrics. From love to hurt, Kristian covers many emotions in the songs that appear on "Shallow Grave". The lyrics appear to be complex and do not seem to have observable meaning. Many metaphors are contained within the lyrics that make the listener think about what the song may be actually about. The lyrics sometimes present a darker atmosphere in them. Kristian's vocals usually dresses the lyrics well, by portraying the tone of his voice to match the words.
I found the lyrics to be quite entertaining. Although, I noticed that when listening to the songs, the lyrics were not the main focus. I was not drawing all my attention on the lyrics, but rather the music. Not dampening Kristian's lyric writing ability at all, however I was not immediately connected with the lyrics of the songs as I am compared with other bands and artists. The sound captured most of my interest.
The lyrics complement the sound well. The folk music made by The Tallest Man On Earth has a slight groove as well as an eerie tone to them. I felt the lyrics have a slight darkness or eeriness to them, while still containing this power. Kristian's music playing definitely went hand in hand with the lyrics. // 8
Overall Impression: This quickly became one of my favourite albums. This album had me wanting to listen to it over and over again. This album was repeatedly blasted through my headphones. Each song just completely captivating me and just filling me with intense feelings of amazement. I am a fan of folk music, but this album just completely swept me off my feet. Definitely a refreshing sound compared to other folk artists that I listen to on a regular basis.
The sound and tone that I just got from this album is what caught my interest in it. It was just a great sound that I was not familiar with before. The edgy, groovy sounds with the hypnotic voice of Kristian made me a fan of The Tallest Man On Earth from the very first day. "Shallow Grave" being the debut LP from The Tallest Man On Earth made me even more blown away. A great debut effort from this man. Compared to the other folk artists that I listen to, The Tallest Man On Earth definitely blows past most of them.
This album was love at first listen. The music just overcame me and I immediately became of fan of The Tallest Man On Earth. "Shallow Grave" had very limited complaints from me. One being that the album was too short. Ten tracks and not one of the songs goes past four minutes. I feel that it should have contained a little bit more. Other then that, I find no real problems with the album. If this is the debut full length from The Tallest Man On Earth, I will definitely me waiting for the sophomore effort. // 9