Tag Archives: Sweeden

Album Reviews: Explosions in the Sky, Acid House Kings

Take care, take care, take care by Explosions in the sky

Am I the only one that finds it difficult to sit down and listen to an hour of instrumental guitar music in one sitting? And thats not to bash this album or Explosions in the Sky in general. As far as lengthy instrumental guitar music goes, this is pretty damn good. I just always feel like I’m waiting for something that never arrives. Anyways, this album is basically the same thing Explosions in the Sky has done throughout their career. It’s well composed ‘post-rock’ that does a really great job of conveying intense emotions. It’s the type of music that is easy to make up a story for. Probably the most ‘cinematic’ album that I’ve listened to this year. Not surprising considering how stellar the band’s work was on the “Friday Night Lights” soundtrack years ago. In short though, unless I’m making a movie or feeling really emotionally scattered I’m not sure when I’m gonna listen to this again.

Listen to “Human Qualities”

Take care, take care, take care: 3 out of 5

Music Sounds Better With You by Acid House Kings

A collection of music this ‘sweet’ and ‘kewt’ just shouldn’t have the right to be any good, but for some reason I completely diggin’ this one. Maybe it’s just because it’s spring and the weather is warming up and I’m in a particularly good and unsnarky mood these days. Maybe, it’s because Acid House Kings harvest a nice collection of retro influences to keep it classy. Maybe though, it’s just that these guys know how to effing play pop music. The whole thing is really a clinic in all things sugary sweet. “Would You Say Stop?” is the type of track that will have just about anyone boppin around innocently in no time. Then there is “(I’m in) a Chorus Line” which is an absurdly catchy song that has the instrumental feel of a particularly bouncy Jens Lekman tune. Overall you might get the musical equivelant to a cavity, but it’s probably really worth it.

Music Sounds Better With You: 4 out of 5


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Album Review: The Tallest Man on Earth – Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt (2010)

In order to fully appreciate “The Tallest Man On Earth” (aka Kristian Matsson) you need to start by getting past the obvious Dylan comparison. Both are raspy voiced folk singers, both can pick the shit out of a guitar and both have a knack for crafting a pretty good folk rock song every now and then.The main difference seems to be that “The Tallest Man On Earth”‘s focus is more on conveying an emotion through creating a general feeling, while Dylan was more of a lyricist.

I feel like it’s “ok” to like both, so long as you acknowledge that Dylan is on a different level (in order to not piss off classic rock die-hards). I’m alright with this. I feel like Dylan needs to be respected more for really defining the genre. Also, his songs seemed to be more relevant and meaningful. While Matsson just typically focuses on nature in his native Sweeden.

When listening to Matsson it’s kind of hard to believe that he isn’t from the US. Seems like he has really captured the essence of American Folk music without a hint of americana. I guess the one thing I’ve always wanted more of from Matsson is some sort of message. Something I can relate to. Not sure his lyrics ever really give that.

There is a crow moon comin in well you keep looking out
It is the hollow month of march now sweeping in
Lets watch phenomenon’s that rise out of the darkness now
Within the light she is my storming heroin

The above lyrics from “The Wild Hunt” certainly aren’t anywhere near being on par with the likes of “Blowing in the Wind” but somehow they seem a lot more profound when part of the whole that is Matsson’s music. Feelin’ like his level of guitar mastery can cover up or at least divert attention away from his less than spectacular writing.

“The Wild Hunt” is the title track and a solid intro to Mattson

Kids on the Run Mp3
“Kids on the Run” is the last track on the album and is a surprising, slow, emotional piano ballad.

Overall, I don’t think that this album was quite as magical as Matsson’s debut. That might just be because there were expectations and hype for this one. Hype can be a hard thing to overcome. Having said all this, “The Wild Hunt” is certainly the best folk album thus far this year and is still HIGHLY recommended by me.

The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt 4.5 out of 5 stars

Do excessive Dylan comparisons make you nauseous?
Do people complaining about excessive Dylan comparisons make you nauseous?
Will any one actually be crowned “the new Dylan”?
Can classic American music come from Scandinavia?
How tall is Kristian Matsson?

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