3 stars (out of 4)
“The Only Place” (Mexican Summer) amps up the production by bringing in Jon Brion, who has worked with
The album's also darker, more melancholy than its predecessor. Besides "The Only Place," essentially an advertisement for California ("Why would you live anywhere else?"), Cosentino's narrators spend a lot of time examining how empty their lives are without the boys they covet. Fortunately, she's got a backbone, too. Over watery guitar and hauntingly beautiful backing harmonies in "How They Want me to Be," Cosentino explains what she wants most in a partner: somebody who allows her to be herself. It's the kind of revelation that can redeem an album, if not the difficult passage into adulthood.