Friday, 26 March 2010

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH : Live @ Le Scopitone, Paris, March, 10th 2010

Deep in the dust forgotten gathered
I grow a diamond in my chest
I make reflections as the moon shines on

("I Won't Be Found" from the album Shallow Grave)

Hailing from Dalarna, Sweden, Kristian Matsson aka The Tallest Man On Earth may not be the "King Of Spain", as he sings, but he’s definitely the prince of folk and a god of songwriting.
I first came across this artist while looking for some covers of Jackson Browne’s song "These Days" on the Internet. Nico’s version had been my favorite so far but Matsson’s instantly blew my mind, his singing being staggering as every inflection conveyed extreme emotions, utter passion, aching and desire.
While the man’s vocals are beautifully and arousingly husky, they can at times sound just like Bob Dylan’s nasal twang, making his singing even more unpredictable and astounding.
One can’t help but think of Dylan when first hearing The Tallest Man On Earth, besides the vocals bit, for his lyrics are also reminiscent of the icon’s songwriting signature. His words are indeed deeply soulful, acrimonious and metaphoric. I used to believe that nobody knew as well as Bob Dylan how to portray mankind and relationships, I was wrong, Kristian Matsson is full-fledged legacy in that matter. As mischievious as Bukowski, lunar as Rimbaud or boundary-free as Kerouac, this howling mind nails every word like an arrow right through the heart.

After obsessing over his albums Shallow Grave and The Wild Hunt and his self-titled EP for weeks, I finally got to see the lad in the flesh in a small but hip venue that also happens to be a bar (Le Scopitone) and while some people were there just to have drinks, true fans definitely shared a special moment with The Tallest Man On Earth .
Although his stage name is ironical, Kristian Matsson has got so much charisma that his mere presence sets the stage (and crowd) on fire. Being every bit the performer, he is able to get to each person there by a single gaze or gesture. A real chameleon, he possesses the bravado of an actor, the delicious melancholy of a troubadour and the verve of a poète maudit.
The thrust of each one of his tunes is increased tenfold by his dazzling aura and vocal prowess live, the man plays his gutts out.
He sings one song from his debut EP “Steal Tomorrow” and random tracks from both albums, among which my favorite “Where Do My Bluebird Fly?” and covers the killer song “These Days” (his own favorite song, he says) as an encore, blowing me away again.
Every song sung on stage sounds even more unique, like a timeless poem, ode or pamphlet that will never sound the same again, even though it will be sung thousands of times. He can be equally funny and over-dramatic with his theatrical soul and every second of his performance is quintessentially hypnotic, which makes him the most gifted and haunting person I have ever got to see on stage, he is indeed grace incarnated. I worship at the altar of “the greatest singer on earth”.

Rank : Say Hello To The Fucking Angels!!!

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