New York’s As Tall As Lions borrows from many familiar acts from the last decade or two: the Mars Volta, Jeff Buckley, Phantom Planet, and Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, and you’ll probably come up with even more comparisons. So when you first hear You Can’t Take it With You, you might think you’ve heard it before. It’s a pleasant listen, but it’s hardly unique, original, or even recognizable.
In keeping with the album’s indistinctness, the lyrics contain too many clichés to list. Lines like “shaken to the bone,” “I’ve been hung out to dry,” “can’t keep the wolves at bay,” and even the title of the album, are phrases so familiar that they fail to be convincing. The album has its moments, like a nice surprise bridge toward the end of the title track and the slowly building, percussive arc of “Circles.” But You Can’t Take it With You just fails to make a strong case for itself.