Review Summary: Driven by stellar melodies, As Tall As Lion’s self-titled release is a virtually flawless emotional rollercoaster ride of an album.
Rarely is modern music something truly stunning: something so absolutely flawless and lush in it’s execution you can’t help but feel convicted by its beauty. As Tall As Lion’s self-titled album is one of those albums. The album conveys the feeling of true heartbreak in a stellar manner: The album hides behind no armor to make every chord progression, gorgeous melody and harmony seems perfectly designed and executed to impact the listener in the largest possible way. The album draws you in with its lush and ambient qualities, relatable songs about heartbreak, and captivating vocal performance to create one of the most emotionally captivating records in recent memory.
Unlike most indie records, the album also doesn’t falter on the grounds of actual musicianship. The drum lines rely on a standard kick and snare beat much less then most drummers in the genre, often mixing in snare rolls and surprisingly faster work on the kit while maintaining the slow, dream-like vibe of the album. The guitar melodies are wonderful; the lead lines and jazz-based chord progressions often float along gently and complement Dan Nigro’s superb vocal performance effectively. The stellar harmonies complement every line further its powerful delivery. The album also uses a wide variety of additional instruments. The album never holds back on the additional use of instruments to make it feel completely fresh throughout its runtime. The charming ambition of As Tall As Lions
is simply stunning. The jazzy piano, quietly plucked harps, majestic strings, slide guitar, percussion, and organ lines subtly drive the tracks along and complement the mood perfectly, giving the album its unique ambient pop vibe.
The lyrical work on the album is also something of beauty. The album revolves around the stages of a break up, going through the stages of blaming yourself and the other person and the desire to have them back. Songs such as “Maybe I’m Just Tired” and “Song for Luna” are driven by their metaphoric and incredibly poetic lyrics. The band has a superb sense of melody, keeping every part beautiful while maintaining their pop sensibilities. All of the album’s ten tracks (or eleven, counting the hidden track) transition wonderfully and flow as an incredibly tight package, culminating until the slow-burning piano driven closer, “Maybe I’m Just Tired”, which practically demands your reflection on the events leading up to it.
Driven by stellar melodies, As Tall As Lion’s self-titled release is a virtually flawless emotional rollercoaster ride of an album. If you’re a fan of indie music this album needs to be in your collection. If you’re looking for something different have experienced a recent heartbreak I would also recommend this album to you without a doubt. This beautiful and utterly depressing tale of heartbreak has firmly sealed its place as one of my all-time favorite indie albums.