This may be new to me but not really all that new. And even though New York may be thousands of miles from England, but the Long Island quartet As Tall As Lions does what they can to bring the melancholy pop/rock sounds of British groups like Coldplay or Keane stateside. The music on their latest self-titled album dangerously straddles the line between indie rock and mainstream radio rock while veering almost perilously towards the latter. Let me explain.
As Tall As Lions deliver soaring and emotive pop/rock songs that aren’t overly energetic and meander along through thickets of gorgeous melodies. Vocalist Daniel Nigro’s soulful crooning is perfectly suited for the band’s sparkling arrangements where every rough edge has been smoothed over. Really, there isn’t a whole lot about this record that I can find fault with. The record is well executed, well written, and expertly produced, and that is exactly the problem.
As good as this record is, it doesn’t elicit much of any response from me aside from, “Yeah, that was good.” To be honest, I’m not sure why I’m turning this into a pseudo-negative review since I really do like this record. It’s just that like so much other “mainstream” music, sanding down the rough edges and putting everything exactly in its place makes it unexciting. Sure, there will be some crossover, but As Tall As Lions isn’t indie enough for the indie kids to get down with and may or may not have the luck to break it onto MTV and gain mass appeal. That may be a stupid statement seeing as both The Shins and Modest Mouse have had some level mainstream success and acceptance and both those bands are way more “indie” sounding than As Tall As Lions.
Maybe I just don’t know what I’m saying at all here. What I’m trying to get at here is that As Tall As Lions have made a really good record that I’ve really enjoyed listening to whenever I’ve played it, but it’s just not something that I’m really all that excited about. Sometimes simply good isn’t enough.
MP3 | As Tall As Lions – Love, Love, Love (Love, Love) S/T
MP3 | As Tall As Lions – Stab City S/T