The Polyphonic Spree

Touring in support of their first album, The Beginning Stages of ... , the Polyphonic Spree seemed likely to fall into a novelty-set trap, pushing the flowering, orchestral dream-pop of Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips to its sweetest extreme. Together We're Heavy, on the other hand, is more cake and less frosting. True to its title, the music here is heavier, finding room for more nuance and variation than on the earlier, demo-turned-dark horse-hit debut. These songs build to their climaxes instead of simply starting there, and along the way, the arrangements showcase the contributions of individual instruments. Together We're Heavy still boasts the holy glee that fans expect of The Polyphonic Spree, but it sounds human instead of like a heavenly choir, and it's better that way.
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Maya Singer