The Tallest Man on Earth: There's No Leaving Now

Dead Oceans

The Bob Dylan comparison has dogged Kristian Matsson since he dropped his debut, Shallow Grave, in 2008. His finger-picking skills are indeed otherworldly, and his distinct, plaintive singing bears more than a passing resemblance to the scratchy-voiced legend. With There's No Leaving Now, the Swedish songwriter enters his proverbial electric phase - opener "To Just Grow Away" is an expansive version of the stripped-down stuff Matsson is known for - but he balances it with some truly gorgeous acoustic folk. Songs like "Leading Me Now" and "Bright Lanterns" are among the mellowest yet most affecting music he has produced. The piano-driven title track is a continuation of something Matsson hinted at on his last full-length (The Wild Hunt); it's a subtle departure, an assertion that he won't be creatively contained. (4 out of 5 stars)

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