As Tall as Lions is the newest emo sensation |

As Tall as Lions is the newest emo sensation

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Into the Flood, Triple Crown RecordsAs Tall as Lions is the newest in a long line of emo-band descendants. If you can embrace the ultra-depressing yet thoroughly listenable Coldplay, then As Tall as Lions shouldnt be a huge leap of faith.Actually, As Tall as Lions sounds more like Coldplay than Coldplay right now, or at least what Coldplay started out sounding like. As Tall as Lions newest release is a very short EP titled Into the Flood. It contains all of the proper elements that an emo bands album should: moody, introspective lyrics; lots of slow, instrumental melodies; plenty of falsetto crooning to keep the ladies happy; and just enough edge to make guys feel OK about listening to it in public.Although a very short disc, Into the Flood is the perfect sampler platter as an introduction to As Tall as Lions music. The five songs it contains are really enjoyable, despite the fact that your little sister will probably be talking about how cool ATAL is in a couple of weeks.Charlie Owen, High Life Writer

The Makings of a Man, AtlanticWhile he has a marked (and often remarked) vocal similarity to Luther Vandross, Jersey singer Jaheim compares favorably to another late, but lesser-known vocalist as well. Like Gerald LeVert, Jaheim draws heavily on classic R&B to fashion a sound more concerned with soul than style. Although hes managed success with this approach his third album, 2006s Ghetto Classics, topped the charts theres always the chance his thug/lover persona will lose the kids.It probably wont happen on The Makings of a Man, which contains the R. Kelly-penned Hush, a cheatin-on-my-best-friend tale stuck in Kellys usual thematic and melodic rut. Jaheim offers just that one sop to current trends. The rest of the disc is filled with the rich, sampled soul riffs his voice deserves. Though borrowed from 70s and 80s sources such as Gamble & Huff and Atlantic Starr, Jaheim has the sort of commanding voice that can make them his own.Just as significantly, the nostalgic Have You Ever and She Aint You take a mature look at relationships that Kelly has never attempted. Jaheim was already a man before this album, but hes putting even more distance between himself and the boys.Dan LeRoy, L.A. Times-Washington Post News Service

Hate It Or Love It, DTPYou have to admire the confidence of an artist who would hand reviewers a Louisville Slugger of an album title like this one, just as you have to give a certain amount of respect to a guy who has turned one huge hit 2003s singsong Right Thurr into a career now on its fourth big-label release.The last two were largely disappointments, but now that hes back with Ludacris Disturbing Tha Peace imprint, Chingy sounds reinvigorated, turning in a dozen lean tracks that contain the best single Gimme Dat, a synth-happy vehicle for his reunion with Luda hes had since his signature smash.Thats not to suggest that Hate It or Love It tips heavily in favor of the latter option. The hypnotic, skeletal beats of Kick Drum and L.T. Moes 2 Kool 2 Dance give Chingy plenty of room to operate in his slurry St. Louis drawl, but the albums wide-open spaces tend to highlight his lyrical shortcomings, as well. Spend Some $ might be a message good for the economy, but it adds nothing to hip-hop.Still, Hate It or Love It contains enough to like, at least, that the pendulum of Chingys Midwest swing should stay in motion for the foreseeable future.Dan LeRoy, L.A. Times-Washington Post News Service

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