Its quite hard to write about Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth) without mentioning Bob Dylan, and for this reason I won’t be attempting it. Matsson does sound an awful lot like early Bob Dylan, mainly vocally, the backing is more akin to Nick Drake. The key to making this work is taking these blatant influences and writing some decent songs, something which the Swedish singer (I was surprised to find this out too) does with varying degrees of success.
A nicely compact little ten track set, There’s No Leaving Now is The Tallest Man on Earth’s third album and it flies by nicely without ever venturing sideways. The melodies are lovingly finger-picked for the most part and the delivery is whimsical. Steeped in pedal steel and tinged with sadness, “Bright Lights” is the first real glimpse of the talent possessed by Matsson but the record really peaks with the perfectly downbeat but beautifully melodic “Little Brother”.
There’s No Leaving Now is a good album, something to play in the background, but it might leave you wanting something more, maybe for Matsson to challenge you or piss you off in some way just like his hero did in 1965. The closest we get to that is when the piano comes out on the album’s maudlin title track and the Spanish guitar infused “On every Page” which wraps the album up in decent fettle. Granted, its not exactly life changing music, few albums are, but its music that will potentially enrich a dreary evening or two so maybe that’s all we really need.