Album Review: The Tallest Man On Earth – I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream

With one of the most distinctive voices in folk today, The Tallest Man On Earth releases the stunning I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream, four years after his last album. If you have ever seen Kristian Maatson live, you’d know there is a wonderful, humorous human being behind the immense artistry, impressive guitar work, and moody songs. His ability to paint beautiful imagery through sound truly makes him a singer-songwriter nonpareil – one who never ceases to musically channel warmth and hope, even while singing sad lyrics. Fever Dream returns to Maatson’s acoustic roots, with sprinkles of modernities to renew familiar soundscapes.

In ‘Hotel Bar’, Maatson chillingly captures the beauty within loneliness. Lyrics like “A tug of lonely in your heart…that little beast that keeps it ripped apart”, are followed by the alleviating “All I can do is say, things will be fine…Somedays we will be”. The subtle horns grow to comfort us in this portrayal of emotional isolation. Exploring the theme of loneliness through a different lens and by pure poetic ingenuity, ‘I’m A Stranger Now’ is a song about re-establishing one’s independence after a relationship.

‘The Running Styles of New York’ observes the beauty in the mundane, like a neighbor coming home to the love of his family.  It can be a strange, dark world out there, and this song offers a beautiful strategy to find light and extract positivity even from things happening on the periphery of our lives. The album comes full circle with the gorgeously minimal, yet impactful self-titled final track.  

The Tallest Man On Earth is one of the most sincere folk artists of his generation. In this intimate record, listeners can, more than ever, connect to Maatson’s reflections, so much it’s as though he’s performing right before us.

Julia Kwan