Dark Bird is Home, the fourth full-length from the Tallest Man on Earth, has been described as the singer/songwriter's most personal and direct piece of work to date. But it's also his most stylized and welcoming, suggesting that Kristian Matsson (a.k.a. the Tallest Man on Earth) possesses a charm and personality that hadn't fully been exposed on his earlier works.
Written in various countries, the ten tracks that make up Dark Bird Is Home tackle subjects mostly related to a life on the road: long distance relationships, a yearning for home and a yearning to find oneself. The front half of the album comes off exceptionally gritty and world-weary, as Matsson lays lamentations overtop dirt-encrusted fingerpicking on tracks like "Fields of Our Home" and "Singers," but once the album segues into mid-album standouts "Sagres" and "Timothy," Matsson's song structures become fuller and more hopeful, moving away from an archetypal troubadour sound into something richer and all-embracing.
Ending with the anthemic "Seventeen" and the dazzling title track, Matsson reverts back to gentle, skeletal arrangements, bringing Dark Bird Is Home though an arresting song cycle that reveals a three-dimensional version of the modern folk singer. (Dead Oceans)