Sound — 8
The polished guitar strips of As Tall As Lions' Saen Fitzgerald still feels like a deep-tissue massage working into taut muscles, and the graceful furls of Daniel Nigro's vocals and piano playing still has a warm and soothing touch. With a rhythm section comprised of bassist Julio Tavarez and drummer Clifford Sarcona rounding out the band, As Tall As Lions have returned with their new CD, You Can't Take It With You, from Triple Crown Records. The band's reflective pools of shimmery guitar effects and soft thumping grooves have the caressive ribbing of MGMT's soundscapes and the soaring lifts of Keane. At times, the music has a catchy Beatlesque twitching like in Sixes And Sevens, while other tracks have the silky glaze of glistening icicles like in the title track. The lavish aerials of Fitzgerald's guitar in Circles stir excitement in the melody's dynamics, and his arousing solo in Go Easy spikes the glassy synth-textured field with shooting sprockets. Nigro's register has an ambient texture that produces a hypnotic effect, stroking the music with a lullaby versing in Sleepyhead and a theatrical pomp in We's Been Waiting, which also weaves in snippets of saloon-style piano keys and jocular cymbals popping in and out of the sequences. The album chimes in with some jazz horns sprinkled over the aquatic movements of The Narrows as Nigro's vocals move about in a nomadic manner. The distortions echoed in the guitar chords of In Case Of Rapture smooth out to an even keel along the chord progressions and turn contemplative in Lost My Mind. Movements blossom and retract along Duermete underscored by a bluesy temperament, and reel in shooting beams of radiating streaks reflective of Snow Patrol along the passageways of Is This Tomorrow.
Lyrics — 8
As Tall As Lions' lyrics focus on relaying positive messages like in Circles with verses that resound, Breathe me in my love / And hold me in tight / Wandering, not lost / Alone in the night / The fear's begun to surface / So breathe me in my love / And hold me in tight. Sometimes the lyrics reverberate like a mantra citing, It's better to die on your feet than live down on your knees from In Case Of Rapture as Nigro claims, We're all just sinner. The lyrics and mood of the music veer towards being positive even through feelings of insecurities and pangs of sullenness, which is an attractive philosophy on life. They are the Henry David Thoreau of today's generation.
Overall Impression — 8
The album starts out strong and then loses its motivation and inspiration as it goes on, like its purpose was fulfilled within the first few tracks. That's a bit of a drawback with As Tall As Lions who tend to repeat themselves after a while, but fans of the band will revel in their music no matter how often their songs start sounding the same. If you're in the market for modern melodic rock, As Tall As Lions has an album that caters to your sensibilities. Their atmospherics are smooth with a few spikes here and there to enliven the cocktail and pump some adrenaline into the veins. You Can't Take It With You reaffirms As Tall As Lions place in the global market as having melodic magnetism and soothing soundscapes that meet ambient rock's standards.