Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. In his second album, The Wild Hunt, Matsson has made a stunningly genuine folk record that compares favourably to staples of the genre dating back to Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin'.
  2. Ultimately, The Wild Hunt's stumbles are too little to mask what could be Matsson's finest hour. He may act as if he's the tallest man on earth, but he may very well literally be a talent of Goliath proportions.
  3. The Wild Hunt, the second release from Swedish guitar-twanging folksy master The Tallest Man On Earth, is a graceful and beautiful advancement of form, and matures just the way a second album really ought to.
  4. The Wild Hunt is a heady and enthralling work, its impressionistic nature bolstered by levels of charm and confidence found all too rarely in these modern times.
  5. The lustiness of his Bob-cat yowl on warm and well-weathered numbers such as 'King Of Spain' makes 'The Wild Hunt' a refreshingly clean listen....Ambitious? No. Delicious? Yes.
  6. These old balladeer's tales are fleshed out with metaphors and all the tricks of a great writer. The burble of guitar lines complement it all artfully. That doesn't mean the criticisms go away--there is a lack of invention within any genre, and too often the lustre dulls.
  7. What makes the record work is his acknowledgment that he's just one more voice in that cavalcade, one that neither tries to hide or overemphasize the influence of the other shouts that came before its own.
  8. The clean, galloping banjos and guitars spotlight his pristine snarl, which slips down into powerful bass notes and then reaches up and yelps on key, accentuating his ambitious, second-language lyrics.
  9. Matsson is both a romantic and a realist, and on The Wild Hunt, he uses the barest of pop-folk settings to give mundane moments--another break-up, another tour, another change of season, another Dylan comparison--a grandeur so disproportional that it's difficult not to identify and sympathize with him.
  10. With The Wild Hunt, Swedish maestro Kristian Matsson once again constructs lively, emotional pieces with nothing more than his strangely authentic Southern drawl and nimble fingers. The lyrics are beyond superb.
  11. He trumps his incredible debut in every way without resorting to drastic tactics in order to avoid some sophomore slump, instead subtly perfecting his approach to great effect.
  12. Careful listening reveals a newfound looseness and emotional range here.
  13. 80
    Matsson is a Harry Smith acolyte, but his understanding of Americana (and American English) is fractured, and his songs are jammed with enough surprises to make him seem like a singular new talent.
  14. Innovative? Absolutely not. But as 35 minutes of 50-quid-bloke folky guitar music goes, it's near impeccable.
  15. From the nimbly finger-picked Troubles Will Be Gone to the emphatically strummed King Of Spain, he provides instrumental variety that never overshadows his poetic lyrics.
  16. The Wild Hunt is a very good record, but it's not perfect. The album's second half, though unarguably beautiful, runs together like an extended 60s folk mix.
  17. While his vocal style is not for everyone, Matsson is an imaginative songwriter whose songs deserve your attention.
  18. 82
    While his latest may not be as triumphant as his debut LP, Shallow Grave, The Wild Hunt is a worthy effort indeed.
  19. Ultimately, The Wild Hunt is anything but a disappointment; instead it's a smooth progression that departed exactly where he left off: it's still affecting with countless moments of brilliance, it still showcases a musician that is everything we could want in a songwriter and on a more contextual look, it's still a man making simply honest music with nothing in the way but his heart and soul.
  20. Much of what made Shallow Grave so striking was its density, its pairing of deftly constructed lyrics with rapid-fire notes and chords. At times, some of the songs on The Wild Hunt--specifically "You're Going Back" and "Love is All"--lead with the more abrasive side of Mattson's voice but don't land with much impact.
  21. With The Wild Hunt, we're two albums in with Matsson, and he has proved he can do quite a bit with his spare elements.
  22. Matsson's sophomore outing as The Tallest Man On Earth ups the visceral appeal of the already surprisingly accessible songwriter, with heightened production lending satisfying crispness to the guitar picking and Matsson's twisty-turny delivery.
  23. The songwriting quality here isn't far removed from the rarified echelon he aspires to, which suggests he may discover his own singular voice soon. [Spring 2010, p.71]
  24. 80
    's the urgent but effortless certainty that Matsson was born to sing these songs. [May 2010, p.108]
  25. While Matssib certainly isn't breaking any new ground on his follow-up to 2008's "Shallow Grave," the songs reign supreme and his emotive tenor mixes perfectly with his worn-down acoustic guitar, all captured in perfect lo-fidelity. [May 2010, p.108]
  26. There may be tears if he later goes elctric, but for now this falls just the right side of pastiche. [May 2010, p.127]
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Apr 11, 2012
    10
    I can't stop listening to this album, nor can I stop listening to "Shallow Grave". Both are fantastic records. Each track is sung with brutalI can't stop listening to this album, nor can I stop listening to "Shallow Grave". Both are fantastic records. Each track is sung with brutal honesty and passion. I can't get enough of The Tallest Man On Earth. I highly recommend this album. A Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2011
    10
    Mattson is a wordsmith. Plain and simple. There is not a line on this album that doesn't have a deeper meaning. His gravelly, Bob Dylan-esqueMattson is a wordsmith. Plain and simple. There is not a line on this album that doesn't have a deeper meaning. His gravelly, Bob Dylan-esque voice puts a form of energy not found in most of today's folk. When Bob Dylan finally decides to retire the guitar, Mattson wil be ready to steal the spotlight. Full Review »
  3. Mar 6, 2011
    9
    His raw voice may turn a few away, but it is this same raw energy that makes his music so appealing. There are a few mechanical issues hereHis raw voice may turn a few away, but it is this same raw energy that makes his music so appealing. There are a few mechanical issues here and there, but it is an amazing piece of work. Full Review »