You ever listen to an album so good you have to tell everyone else they have to listen to it themselves? Well, I can't do that or I will have no career, so I have to tell you about As Tall As Lions's latest album You Can't Take It With You.
When listening to the first song, you may instantly think of sitting back and relaxing to this album. Well, good luck with that! The guitarists rip through the calming drums as the hook approaches, forcing you to listen instead of making their album a rock-me-to-sleep kind of album.
Going into it you understand why it took them about three years to release another album. It is good even down to their order of tracks. Yes, the whole album is pretty depressing, but in the order the tracks are placed give you a decent storyline. Playing the album straight shows what is happening, then how it feels, and then what needs to happen. I don't want to go into too much because you really have to listen. No, seriously, I would need another blog. This has to be the best album so far this year that is a story about life, real life. Each song is well-written and thought-out, not to mention well-sung. The lyrics cry for listeners and folks to relate. It definitely contains traces of the blues; at some point it is a straight-up blues album! It's a kind of album that anyone who listens-listens to music will relate. If not relate then at least enjoy the band's presentation.
Every track has a nice flow to it; if it isn't the drums that has your head nodding, it's the piano. Which is weird because you really don't imagine pianos having you nod your head to a beat in a pulse-like fashion, at least with rock music. And if you're not nodding your head, you are beginning an emotional trip as these guys bring back the slow rock; not necessarily the love ballad, but the kind of slow music you want to wave a lighter to. Dan Nigro, the vocalist, has a very light pitch and soulful voice that drifts you away from whatever you are doing without noticing this is a rock record. Actually, the tempo of this album is fairly slow, but slow to only make you listen to the words and the beats swirl together smoothly.
If I had to comment on one thing, and if I could ask these guys one thing, I would have to ask why on earth is there no upside to this album? I feel incomplete. I know most albums used to go with either a good or bad mood for their sound in their album, but now everyone likes a full circle album. Well, they at least want a feel-good song after hearing rawness that relates. That's pretty much everyone's definition of a full-circle album. If As Tall As Lions wasn't going for You Can't Take It With You to go full circle in that sense, then they definitely gave my ears a good story to vibe with.
Best Song: Duermete - This eight-minute song is the meat of this entire album! Not because it is the longest song on it, but it is the fullest song on the album. And it is so genius; who would be thinking to mix those trademark, sexy vocals and the horns with the slow drums and a delayed blast of guitars on a rock record? One word for this song: original.
Worst Song: Is This Tomorrow - This was tough, I almost skipped this section. But this is the weakest song on the album because it's not within the territory of their sound. It's good that it's a song that is somewhat inspirational, but it doesn't fit well with the album. Maybe they need an EP to follow up.
Star's Grade: A