Album Review

Brent Andermann
The gentle, simple gestures on The Wild Hunt are so endearing and genuine that you can scarcely believe that the words that Kristian Matsson is singing could be so damn moving. The lyric sheets read like most modern folk endeavors and he has just as much accessibility as his peers.

It’s the moments of raw emotion on this record that carry it. Matsson sings with a swift determination and a hell of a lot of fire in his belly. All the Dylan comparisons are put to rest here because he has clearly come into his own. He has found a pop sensibility and has managed to turn a Woody Guthrie-esque delivery on the the title track into something that’s fun to dance and sway to. Unfortunately, the song that follows,”Burden of Tomorrow” would be completely forgettable if it were not for the distracting similarity to 90s singer/songwriter pop hits that haunted our dreams and forced us to turn off the radio for fear of having those God awful songs stuck in our heads. The guttural howl of “You’re Going Back”, the jangling semi-bossanova and awkwardly honest croon of “The Drying of The Lawns”, and the rambling fervor of “King of Spain”, take the best parts of his previous effort ,Shallow Graves, and adds in a spirit of excitement and wonder.

For all this new found energy, though, the back end of the album blends together and feels tired. “Love is All”, “Thousand Ways”, and “A Lion’s Heart” give you the feeling that you’re listening to one long tale of lover’s lament. By the time you get to the closer, “Kids on the Run”, the mood has been killed and all the pure words of freedom, without the build up that it seems to need, lose all their meaning.