The Tallest Man on Earth The Wild Hunt

One person commanding attention nowadays with just an acoustic guitar isn't as easy as it used to be. Then again, every folk singer since Woody Guthrie has had to open themselves completely in order to convincingly win over an audience. For Kristian Matsson (the native of Sweden who calls himself the Tallest Man On Earth), this is second nature. The Wild Hunt is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2008 debut, Shallow Grave, and as on that album, Matsson takes command from the outset, establishing an effortless melodic sensibility that underlines an impressive lyrical barrage. His raspy voice has been compared to a young Bob Dylan, but Matsson's song craft owes more to the wit of Loudon Wainwright or the passion of the Waterboys' Mike Scott than any obvious ancient touchstones. But what can best be said about the Tallest Man On Earth is that he demands to be heard at all times. Perhaps Matsson's choice of that name was intended as a subliminal message, but most folk singers today must reside in his shadow. (Dead Oceans)