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I Love You. It's a Fever Dream

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Review

Breaking out in the mid-2000s, singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson's the Tallest Man on Earth alias channeled troubadours of the '60s folk movement, his first albums offering an indie update on Dylan's earliest material. Matsson's style grew as the years went on, opening up from a spare instrumentation of rural folk instruments to more orchestrated takes on his bright, optimistic sounds. Fifth album I Love You. It's a Fever Dream continues this expansion, augmenting the lonely sound he built his name on with swimmy synths and other colorful tones as Matsson meditates on various travel and touring experiences. Matsson's ability to cultivate a wistful-but-cheery air on his albums is what set the Tallest Man on Earth apart from more heavy-handed contemporaries or stompy folk-rock revivalists. Each of the ten songs here are rich with his signature melodies that evoke both hopeful and helpless feelings and land as gently as an afternoon in spring. The album's strongest songs juxtapose that bounding energy with darker lyrical narratives. Where his 2015 album Dark Bird Is Home was fixated on his recent divorce, here Matsson turns to constant touring to escape the pain of that separation, ruminating on "I'm a Stranger Now" about losing touch with himself in the process. Other standout songs like "Waiting for My Ghost" and "There's a Girl" tread over similar dissociative territory, with Matsson offering lyrics that are weary, lost, and broken but never straying from perky fingerpicked acoustic guitars, floating harmonicas, and curious synth tones. Even when the songs tend towards harrowing, questioning themes, I Love You. It's a Fever Dream still sounds romantic, soft, and even a little bit naïve. The deepening emotional content that Matsson laces into his familiarly sweet songwriting makes this set of songs one of his most resonant and revisitable. ~ Fred Thomas
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Hotel Bar The Tallest Man on Earth 4:26
  3. 2 The Running Styles of New York The Tallest Man on Earth 5:11
  4. 3 There's a Girl The Tallest Man on Earth 3:18
  5. 4 My Dear The Tallest Man on Earth 3:39
  6. 5 What I've Been Kicking Around The Tallest Man on Earth 3:24
  7. 6 I'm a Stranger Now The Tallest Man on Earth 4:16
  8. 7 Waiting for My Ghost The Tallest Man on Earth 3:52
  9. 8 I'll Be a Sky The Tallest Man on Earth 3:50
  10. 9 All I Can Keep Is Now The Tallest Man on Earth 3:41
  11. 10 I Love You. It's a Fever Dream. The Tallest Man on Earth 3:34

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