The Tallest Man On Earth
Dark Bird Is Home

Released: 11th May 2015
Label: Dead Oceans

It’s been three years since The Tallest Man On Earth released ‘There’s No Leaving Now’, an album which for me has turned into a modern classic, I have listened to it countless times in the last three years and continue to keep falling in love with it. The standard set by that album together with his previous two albums meant that the follow up was going to be no easy task.

After listening to ‘Dark Bird Is Home’ on repeat for the last week I can say with complete belief and confidence that The Tallest Man On Earth has once again shattered all my expectations. The biggest thing that contributed to this is the surprise element throughout this album, it is not what I was expecting. Don’t worry he hasn’t done anything to alienate those of us that have loved all of what he has released so far, but what he has done is introduce a band and a plethora of instruments, something which until now has not featured on his albums.

Opening track ‘Fields Of Our Home’ is the perfect example of how to introduce a change to your music. It is done in a way that finds you asking yourself ‘what was that?’ as the choir join in but it is arranged and so perfectly placed in the song that you have no choice but to embrace every sound you hear. ‘Darkness of the Dream’ follows and this is the real moment when the listener not only fully witnesses the transformation from solo artist to full band but feels like they are part of the transformation; the joyful pop melodies are what we were longing for from The Tallest Man On Earth without even knowing it. What follows next can only be described as genius, just as we were getting caught up in the tidal wave of a full band ‘Singers’ strips it back to the gentle acoustic melodies and heart-warming vocals that made us fall in love with this artist in the first place.

Standouts are everywhere in this album. ‘Timothy’ has festival anthem stamped all over it, seriously this would give Elbow a run for their money in terms of getting the crowd clapping and oohing along while ‘Slow Dance’ is a song that can best be summed up in one word… charming. Title track ‘Dark Bird Is Home’ is an absolute gem that will shatter your heart into pieces, “And suddenly the day gets you down, this is not the end, no this is fine” reminding us of the themes of loss, heartbreak and isolation that dominate this album.

Once again The Tallest Man On Earth has given the world an album to cherish, make sure you do not let this pass you by.

Steve Tay

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