The Polyphonic Spree

Album Title: Together We're Heavy
Release Date: July 13, 2004
Rating:
Genre: Pop/Rock
Ask a preschooler to draw a picture of a nice day and what would you get?
Likely a vibrant, Crayola-adorned image with flawless green grass,
powder-blue sky, cotton-white clouds and an unnaturally yellow sun. The
sophomore record by The Polyphonic Spree is a lot like that: innocent,
colourful and perfect happiness unashamedly strummed, picked and thumped by
some two-dozen or so robe-clad players who try to recapture the great days
of their youth by consuming lots of sugar-coated cereal.

Together We're Heavy, like its predecessor, is filled with un-ironic rays of
prog-orch-pop sunshine. The songs aren't as strong this time around, but Tim
DeLaughter and his heartily laughing orchestra make up for it with some
bigger-sounding and more polished production. At times DeLaughter approaches
Wayne Coyne's wonderment-in-a-brave-new-world that preoccupies the latest
Flaming Lips records, exclaiming, "It's a beautiful day!" on the baroque,
piano-and-harp fairytale "One Man Show." The rest of Together We're Heavy is
filled with the same sense of psychedelic, child-like hippie-love for the
sky and the sun, hitting its pop peak early on with the insanely urgent
"Hold Me Now," a majestic trumpet-and-choir stomper of cynical-free,
sarcastic-free togetherness.

But like the perma-smiles of Pleasantville or the barren utopia of the
Teletubbies, the picture perfect world of the Spree seems a bit deluded and
a bit creepy, a feeling that's compounded by their cult-like expression of
collective joy. As spotlessly joyous as it is, Together We're Heavy comes
off more as temporary escapism than as long-term revelry.

Writer: Brian Wong


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