The Polyphonic Spree
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., July 16, 2004
The Polyphonic SpreeTogether We're Heavy (Hollywood)
Together We're Heavy is a terrific Flaming Lips, er, Pink Floyd album. The meticulously arranged sonic textures and horn embellishments reveal that the man behind the curtain is listening to Dark Side of the Moon. Who knows what prompted the 20-strong Dallas outfit led by Tim DeLaughter to amp up the theatricality a bit, but the group's sophomore release is only slightly less stagy than A Chorus Line. Most who've seen the Spree live over the past year have already heard these songs many times over, and as such, perhaps it comes as no surprise that the studio versions of "Section 15 (Ensure Your Reservation)" and "Section 16 (One Man Show)" tend to drag for the captive audience. Certain songs retain their energy in the translation, such as the album's opener, "Section 11 (A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed)" and "Section 14 (Two Thousand Places)," but are ultimately bogged down by a downright dull middle section. Bookending the album are snatches of "It's the Sun," from The Beginning Stages of ..., woven into the two new songs. Presumably a technique to sustain and recollect the momentum of the winning first LP, this cannibalization feels more like an attempt at a formula that worked well the first time around, but stumbles badly on the second.