The Tallest Man on Earth
There's No Leaving Now


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
June 11th, 2012 | 112 replies | 8,473 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wherever you are, this album will be all you need.

Kristian Mattson, better known as The Tallest Man on Earth, as carved a name in the music world for playing a special brand of old-time folk that seems to tap into both Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. However, if one thing is especially notable about his style, it's that he can blend the old with the new, as performed best on 2010's The Wild Hunt. Mattson was able to mix his old-fashioned songcraft with a modern feel and production, and the result was pretty damn staggering to say the least. But now 2012's There's No Leaving Now has arrived, so can he still deliver on this promise.

The answer is easily a resounding YES. The same style is still present, yet much more refined here. You still get the one-man acoustic folk and earthy voice from the last two albums, but there seems to be a bigger emphasis on certain aspects this time around.

The first thing you'll notice is the more balanced sound. One criticism many people had regarding the first two albums was the loudness of Mattson's voice in contrast with his guitarwork, but both are mixed very well here. Along with the keyboards that back the whole thing up, everything simply sounds like it's blended together better and the production quality is crystal clear, cleaned up to perfection.

Additionally, Mattson's voice is a bit different this time around. He retains his typically natural voice, but is a bit less raspy on his delivery. The approach is a lot more subtle and focuses more on how Mattson associates with his guitar. This is better in some cases because it brings more charisma and life to some of these tracks, so all in all, having more clarity in the vocal work isn't a problem at all. Then in songs like "1904" (a highlight of the album), he keeps both vocal styles present, and it gives some variety to his music.

The last thing I'd like to mention is how full everything sounds on this album. Even with only a few instruments being played, the production is extra-vibrant and upbeat on this album, and compliments Mattson's compositions perfectly. For example, check out "Leading Me Now." The track has relatively simple layout in terms of guitarwork and composition, but the aforementioned vibrant quality the mix of the vocals and guitars exudes is nothing short of breathtaking. The addition of extra keyboards and choir voices only adds to this special atmosphere, adding an extra backdrop to aid certain tracks. This is especially prevalent on "Wind and Wails", where the background choir adds more drama and emotion to a track that's already fantastic on its own.

If there was a flaw on this album, it's that even with the refinements, there's still not much of a difference between previous works. Some of the songs still kind of run together after a while unless you're nitpicking the tiny details of each. Either way, it's clear the Mattson won't be abandoning this style for a while, and this criticism isn't really all that huge when you consider how great the album is.

"There's No Leaving Now" might not convert detractors of this artist, but if you see yourself as a fan of The Tallest Man on Earth, this is a must for you. Get it as soon as you can.

4.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
PorkchopExpress
June 10th 2012



382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Isn't that the worst? I wouldn't worry too much. It's a good review. And yeah, this album is so good.

Digging: Pure X - Angel

Havey
June 10th 2012



9314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agreed

Digging: Tim McGraw - Not a Moment Too Soon

someguest
June 10th 2012



18902 Comments


I expect him to finally get some radio play with this one.

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal

cinaedus
June 10th 2012



26195 Comments


highly doubt that

Funeralopolis
June 10th 2012



10503 Comments


``Mattson was able to mix his old-fashioned songcraft with a modern feel and production, AND the result was pretty damn staggering to say the least.``

should get rid of that and

Digging: Silversun Pickups - Carnavas

someguest
June 10th 2012



18902 Comments


highly doubt that


He's really blowing up here in the States.

Ending
June 10th 2012



1861 Comments


Nice to see this get a review. A good one too!

cinaedus
June 10th 2012



26195 Comments


He's really blowing up here in the States.


Really? That's surprising, The Wild Hunt didn't even chart on the top 200.

someguest
June 10th 2012



18902 Comments


This one will chart.

Eko
June 10th 2012



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I always assumed Lakes was American

afergusonart
June 10th 2012



220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome review. This is definitely my favorite album of the year so far, tied with Anathema's Weather Systems.

Maniac!
June 10th 2012



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so much better than that hippie bub dylan

someguest
June 10th 2012



18902 Comments


hippies rule

cinaedus
June 10th 2012



26195 Comments


"I always assumed Lakes was American"

I am, I was just unaware that the dude was blowing up, haha.

MagmaWalrus
June 10th 2012



218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Really good album from one of the most consistent musicians around. But "Criminals" always bothers me because there's this one note that's why louder than the rest and it just attacks your ears.

Transistor910
June 10th 2012



54 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've waited and waited... Passed on the D/L. Passed on the NPR streaming. Can not wait to get my hands on this Tuesday!

cinaedus
June 10th 2012



26195 Comments


This and new Rush, so pumped

TheGardener
June 10th 2012



150 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AOTY

Kris.
June 10th 2012



11374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh i get it its slow sad folk music but you say its fast and extreme to be funny

camaraderie
June 10th 2012



988 Comments


I guess he's under the impression that only metal elitists would dislike this.



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