Release Date: February 28, 2012
Secret City Records; 11 Tracks
Review by: Lee Fraser
Talent, skill and fun on latest release from Plants and Animals.
The third full-length record from Plants and Animals is a delicious 11-track serving called The End of That. Like their last venture, La La Land, this album was recorded mostly in their home away from home in Montreal, a studio called the Treatment Room, as well as in a big old house outside of Paris called La Frette. Unlike their previous two albums, this was not a collaboration with Kees Dekker; instead they brought in an outside influence, recording engineer Lionel Darenne. Having worked with musicians in a wide variety of sounds, from Europe and North America, the influence of Darenne may be part of the pleasing result.
Lyrically, this album is fairly introspective. There are songs about regrets, matrimony and falling hard. There are several songs with lyrics that catch your attention right away, lyrics that perhaps you will find yourself singing while you're supposed to instead be paying attention in an important meeting. Both the title track and and the song "Crisis!" are catchy from the very first listen, tempting you to forego listening to the rest of the album. But that kind of attitude may prevent you from listening to the beautiful and gentle opening song "Before" as well as some of the other lazy Sunday afternoon tracks such as the 53 second "HC".
La La Land was a departure from the fun aspect of Parc Avenue, though it showcased the musicianship of Warren C. Spicer, Matthew Woodley, and Nicolas Basque. What's great about The End of That is that the general feel about it is… fun. As an existing Plants and Animals fan, I find some comfort in studio snaps and a little bit of chatter captured on the recording. These guys are immensely talented and it is great to hear a record that displays musical finesse while remaining down to earth.
This is just another stage in the development of Plants and Animals and their sound. Let's hope that this album is not the end of that.