It’s hard to know what to say when you really love a record. It’s possible, and common, to launch into a bed-wettingly juvenile 300 words that essentially say “this is the best piece of music that I’ve heard this year and I really, really, really like it”, and yes, this is a very tempting route. But given that I do really, really, really like the new Tallest Man On Earth LP, me going on about how much I love certain aspects of it is ridiculously subjective and may not relate to anyone else at all. The other option, a moustached stiff upper lip approach with a Thesaurus hanging on near by (along with a dictionary so you can try to decipher what the bollocks that you’re writing actually means) is possible yet more unappealing because a) it’s brain numbingly boring to write b) it’s brain numbingly boring to read c) it goes against my recently adopted principle of “If it’s good, then just fucking say it is!”. Eventually, I came to the inevitable conclusion that I’d just try to say as little as possible. And if these 200 words so far attest anything, it’s that I’ve failed to do even that.
But then, given that “The Wild Hunt” (due to be released 13th April) is steadily trudging its way up to “xx”– like playcounts, I couldn’t say nothing either. Of the other opinions that I’ve come across, the majority are without argument on the point that this is a genuinely touching piece of music, but those that have taken a cautious step back from putting down their 300 words of tear stained praise have done so on the grounds Kristian Matsson’s voice, apparently a contentious point. Personally, I find it difficult to criticise Kristian for not sounding like yet another generic, characterless yet note perfect Brit School “graduate”. If we’re going to have to sacrifice a little technical perfection, or at least what we have been told is the “correct” way to sound, in favour of warmth, authenticity and heart-on-the-sleeve honesty then so be it. If you’d rather hear a heartless, cash grabbing performance that has been vocally conditioned until it is practically impossible to offend, then I hear that the new Mika album is not selling very well, and could use you picking up a copy here. It’s a load of bland bullshit, though, “correct” voice or not.
I take it that if you are still reading and are not currently wasting £5 on yet another piece of useless and expendable pop music, then you’ll be pretty interested in investing that money elsewhere. I’ve tried my best so far to avoid a slightly cringy comparison to Bon Iver’s debut, which probably just demonstrates my lack of knowledge of folk music, but the reasons why I love both albums are the same. Primarily, that is that Justin Vernon and Kristian Matsson both have a slightly worrying knack for articulating exactly how we all feel, in a completely un pretentious and uninhibited way. Well, I failed to avoid mentioning Bon Iver, and instead of the 300 of praise, I’ve ended up with 600 words that probably completely fail to convey how obsessed I am with “The Wild Hunt”. Perhaps I should have just cut my losses and gone with “this is the best piece of music that I’ve heard this year and I really, really, really like it”. It may lack The Tallest Man On Earth’s lyrical prowess, but I couldn’t say that it isn’t absolutely true.