Kristian Matsson has carved out quite a following for himself under the Tallest Man on Earth moniker, and over his first three albums, he proved his worth with his honest, personable folk. But on record number four “Dark Bird Is Home,” Matsson branches out his sound, coming off more like a veteran act from the ’60s finding new freedom in a bigger sound.
Matsson’s voice isn’t as up front as on previous releases, as he lets the other sounds have a bigger role. It takes a little adjustment, but ultimately this record finds many pleasing spots with cuts such as the strong one-two openers “Field of Our Home” and “Darkness of a Dream”; the emotionally effective “Sangre” (my favorite cut on the record); and the breezy, conversational “Timothy,” that reminds of Tom Petty’s solo years. Nice to hear Matsson take some risks and explore every corner of his sound. (Brian Krasman)