US - Texas - Full Moon 97 - 08/30/04
The Polyphonic Spree
Together We're Heavy
Good Records/Hollywood Records
That summer feeling, again...
I still recall Polyphonic Spree's show at last year's sun-drenched Roskilde festival. We just
streamed over to check out this Dallas symphonic and robe-draped pop group, ans was totally blissed
out by the energetic and joyous crowded stage. Tim DeLaughter and his disciples took the audience
by storm. Yes, warm summer breezes and pure love. And laughter.
Since I wrote a piece on their debut, The Beginning Stages Of... (originally released in
2002 - and originally meant as a demo?) I haven't heard anything before the appearance of this,
their second album Together We're Heavy. This time produced by the legendary Eric Drew Feldman
(and the Speekers...!?). Feldman, once a member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. After that he's
been collaborating with thrillingly alternative acts like Snakefinger and Pere Ubu. Quite a character for Tim and
his Spree to team up with.
Together We're Heavy is melodic and symphonic, catchy and, well, maybe a bit overblown.
Sort of a bit over the top inbetween. But there's beauty and lots of charm on the way through it.
Such as the old favorite "Diamonds/Mild Devotion to Majesty", included on last year's bonus DVD with
The Beginning..., known as the fantastic footage named 'When the Sound Went Down'. Which was
exactly what happened. The amazing thing was the return of the [electric] sound just in time for
the song's crescending take-off. Neat. It seems almost choreograpic.
Together We're Heavy continues where their debut stopped. Also as the songs are sections:
The Beginning... held sections (songs) 1 through 10. Together We're Heavy holds sections
11 till 20. And, as last year, there's a bonus DVD (at least I've got it - maybe it's a limited edition
thingy?) with live material included (imagine The Polyphonic Spree takes the stage at the Summersonic
Festival, Tokyo, and Tim turns to unveil the back of his white robe...with a big, red dot for the
Together We're Heavy is good company if you're up for some summer-spirited, gospel-coated
sugar/spice-pop. The group is huge, standing of at least a ten-piece choir, a drummer, a percussionist,
a bassist, a guitarist, a flautist, a trumpeter, a trombonist, a violist, a French horn player, a
theremin player, ... The list is longer. Let yourself be amused by the Polyphonic Spree. It's time for
Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen