The Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy
"Together We're Heavy" is the latest effort from The Polyphonic Spree. Often seen as a strange cult, The Polyphonic Spree have met their share of controversy, due to their habit of dressing up in white robes and the fact that they are ALWAYS happy. The band consists of approximatly 23 members, including a 10 piece choir, two keyboardists, a guitarist, a bassist, percussionist, french horn player, theremin player and an electronic effects maker. Tim DeLaughter is the band's lead singer and main muscial director.
The sound of The Polyphonic Spree has been compared to groups like The Flaming Lips and The Beach Boys. Tim is good friends with Wayne Coyne and their vocal styles are very similar. The band's sound is very full and epic, due to the large number of members and different instruments. The mood of the songs is some of the happiest music you will hear in your life. An interesting fact is that Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is a big fan of these guys.
"Together We're Heavy" is a continuation of the group's last album, "The Beginning Stages Of The Polyphonic Spree". The tracklisting follows on from the last album, with the first track being titled "Section 11" and so on.
Tim DeLaughter - Lead vocals, piano, guitar
Joe Butcher - Pedal steel, moog, piano
Audrey Easley - flute, piccolo
Ryan Fitzgerald - guitar
Toby Halbrooks - Theremin
Evan Jacobs - Piano
Evan Hisey - Organ/synth
Logan Keese - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Rick Nelson - Violin, viola, upright bass, cello
Mark Pirro - Bass
Ricky Rasura - Classical Harp
James Reimer - Trombone
Louis Schwardon - French Horn
Brian Teasley - Percussion
Bryan Wakeland - Trap set
Jennifer Jobe - Lead female vocals
CJ Davis - choir member
Julie Doyle - choir member
Jessica Jordan - choir member
Jennie Kelley - choir member
Michael Musick - choir member
Kelly Repka - choir member
Michael Turner - choir member
Jamey Welch - choir member
Apotsala Wilson - choir member
Section 11 (A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed)
- Good intro that sets up the tone for the rest of the album. Tims' vocals in the whole song are great (I almost wrote "Wayne" because he sounds so much like Wayne Coyne). The verses have some good instrumentation and choir work. The strings in this song are also good. There is a slower part of the song which is nice the first few times, but overral the song is a bit too long. It would have been better if it was about 2 minutes shorter. The end isnt that great, it just seems to die. Still a pretty good song though.
Section 12 (Hold Me Now)
- This is easily the best song on the album. The intro is good and then Tim's vocals and the drums come in. At the start it's just piano with other instrmuents being gradually added in. All of the instruments come in for the choruses and the whole group make it sound extremely epic. All of the instruments compliment each other rather than being a big mess of different sounds. The choir parts in the song are the best that they are on the album. This track was the first single off the album.
Section 13 (Diamonds/Mild Devotion To Majesty)
- Another great song. The song has some great lyrics and sounds quite similar to "Together We're Heavy". The choir parts in this song are also great, they really help to build up the song. All of the little melodies in the song are great.
Section 14 (2000 Places At Once)
- This song has the coolest lyrics, especially the line "you gotta be good, you gotta be strong, you gotta be two thousand places at once". The intro with the choir parts are awesome, the choir sings "la la" type stuff with all these harmonies going everywhere. The best part of the song is the bridge right before the song ends.
Section 15 (Ensure Your Reservation
- Just a nice little intrumental interlude type thing.
Section 16 (One Man Show)
- A more quiet song. Mainly piano throughout the song but there are some other instruments. The vocals in here are great. The chorus is awesome, especially the line "it's a beautiful day". The piano at the end of the song is amazing. A great song, especially instrumentally.
Section 17 (Suitcase Calling)
- A slower song. It gets boring after a while but the piano at the end is nice. It just sounds a lot like the previous tracks, but it's not really as good. About halfway through, there is some cool percussion which give it a bit more variety. Around this time, the song changes a bit and sounds good. At the end there is some nice interplay between Tim and the choir. The song ends on a strange chord which seems off at first but is pretty cool.
Section 18 (Everything Starts At The Seams)
- A nice little song, it doesn't even go for two minutes but it's got some nice instrumentation and vocals. Tim seems even more happy than usual in this song.
Section 19 (When The Fool Becomes A King)
- A good song on it's own but by the time you get to it, it's pretty boring after hearing the whole album. It's got some cool lyrics though, especially "this crucifix, yeah you're shaking it". The choir do some solo type stuff in this song, it sounds very good. The choir is just as good as anything else in this song. The piano bits is nice, but sounds like all of the other piano slow parts on this cd. The song ends on an epic note, which is very cool.
Section 20 (Together We're Heavy)
- An "instrumental" outro. It has no lyrics but some choir parts. The music in it is great and everything fits well. A great way to close the album.
Well, this album is no masterpiece. It will never make Top 500 lists, but it does exactly what it sets out to do. It makes you feel happy. I reccomend buying this album if you are in need of some cheering up, it's almost impossible to not feel happy after listening to this album all the way through. Songs like "Hold Me Now" and "2000 Places At Once" are great songs to help you cheer up. So this album is a good effort from the happiest band in the world.
FINAL RATING: 3.7/5