The Tallest Man on Earth

There's No Leaving Now

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The Tallest Man on Earth has carved out his own little niche of winsome and slightly raspy folk-indie-pop over the years of the 21st century, so little wonder that There's No Leaving Now continues that approach well enough. He's a bit of an acquired taste, not unattractive, but still a touch one-note, so There's No Leaving Now succeeds best when he breaks out of that mode of one enjoyable enough ingredient constantly reused, or at least tempers it more thoroughly than at other times. The brisk speed and sense of soft mournfulness mixed with empathy on songs like "Revelation Blues" set his expected mode as ever, while also allowing for such good lines as "Sometimes it's just roses dying too young." The middle of the album provides the necessary shift in variety, with the title track -- the first on the album to be led by piano instead of guitar -- being one of the best, his voice's intrinsically "son of Richard Ashcroft" quality turning out to be just what was needed. The other key is at least a little twist on the instrumentation, thus the lead acoustic instead of electric on "1904" and "Wind and Walls" and the mike-in-a-room feeling of "Bright Lanterns," which helps foreground his performance and his lyric in a way that other approaches can sometimes obscure.

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