Considering the accolades for Plants and Animals' last record, 2008's Parc Avenue, you'd figure the Montreal trio might've carried a lot of weight on their shoulders about the follow-up. But La La Land is as laid-back and assured as anything they've released to date.
The album basks in sun-drenched classic rockisms while managing to sound leagues above throwback jam bands like Phish. Despite their casual air, the 11 songs have a consistency that the tracks on Parc Avenue lacked. Aside from a few touches - a yacht rock saxophone solo in American Idol, a tongue-in-cheek vocoder in Future From The 80s - La La Land rarely strays from punchy, mid-tempo riffs and fuzz-pedal solos. Somehow, it's all the better for it.
Top track: American Idol
Plants and Animals play the Horseshoe Tuesday (April 20).