Label: Secret City Release date: 12/09/10 Website: Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify Two years always feels like an incredibly long wait for a new album to come out, especially if the band releasing it had a debut full length record that is utterly magnificent. Parc Avenue had such tremendous replay value, but at the beginning of this year, after finishing yet another listen, my starvation had increased substantially since mid-2009 for some brand spanking new Plants and Animals material. It was a great relief then, to have my long lasting famine ousted when I saw them play at the Lexington last month and hear some songs from La La Land for the first time. The promising second full length album is here at last. And how does La La Land live up to Parc Avenue? Well, for the moment I don't really think it's achieved that yet. With their debut, Plants and Animals had a wonderful variety of rock, mellow acoustic and folk; constantly changing arrangements and use of instruments that took many exciting turns. They've ditched a lot of the instruments that made up some riveting tracks and seemed to have focused more on the guitars that they're using. This isn't such a negative thing though. By doing this, the band have completely avoided something that would sound pretty much like Parc Avenue Part 2, but they've still maintained what makes Plants and Animals so great. They've got the skillful guitar playing as ever, as well as songs where they spend a long while building a perfect climax. The second half of the album develops quite a, overuse of psych sounds. Most layers on the tracks are overpowered by reckless, droning guitars and feedback. By the time it reaches 'Future From the 80s', which is a song with many repetitive features, it's in danger of ruining the album and it's only the energetic sequences in 'Jeans Jeans Jeans' that gives La La Land a promising ending. Give me the beginning any day, with the attention grabbing riff of 'Tom Cruz' and where 'Swinging Bells' and 'American Idol' sound like one whole, excellent piece. So, La La Land hasn't been quite the satisfying end to the seemingly long wait that I've suffered, not instantly anyway. I can tell that it's an excellent album. It still is a successful product of Plants and Animals capabilities, with moments of head shaking excitement. Whether or not it's my idea of a good successor for Parc Avenue is yet to be decided by the chances of me warming to the last few songs. Photobucket