(03.2008, Secret City Records)
Verdict = indie rock with classic soul
Parc Avenue had me doing a double take to make sure this was Plants & Animals. I even had to throw down some research just to make sure this was the same band who released the self titled Plants & Animals debut 2005. Reason being, their debut was an expansive five track instrumental acoustic affair that fit somewhere in-between the new batch of Fahey revivalists and more laid back post-rock. On Parc Avenue the band has added vocals to the mix and dipped into their old dilapidated 70’s classic rock collection to gather inspiration. So things have obviously changed for Plants & Animals, and while their debut was beautiful, the band's new sound is undeniably a satisfying change. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the expansiveness. At eleven tracks this time, Parc Avenue feels like one of those landmark albums that just hits all the right spots and burns out the motor in your record player. You’ll want all the time you can get with this record to because every listen reveals something new from the inventive song structures to heavenly melodies. Plants & Animals simply play to their muse with incredible versatility and depth, holding their own along side of similarly entrenched indie rockers like Blitzen Trapper, Midlake or My Morning Jacket. Probably the most distinguishing trait that Parc Avenue holds, that is absent from most of the modern musical landscape, is soul. It is that same kind of soul that makes those old CCR and Van Morrison records so golden on every spin. It is the soul that makes Parc Avenue golden from the very first listen and what will keep it spinning on your turntable for years to come.