Together We're Heavy
label: Hollywood Records
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
changes have tweaked The Polyphonic Spree during a year that has
seen them rise from being a curiosity, through obscurity to cult
status. When The Beginning Stages Of The Polyphonic Spree
was unleashed on the public last year, it was welcomed with open
arms by a musical audience who were ripe for something so off
the wall. But the flowing white robes and sun-worshiping songs
could not hold our attention for ever.
so, on their return the seemingly endless number of band members
have donned colourful attire, honed their guitar skills and started
to sing songs about love and other deep mysteries. A recipe for
success, you would think. But something still niggles me about
Together We’re Heavy because I can’t help
thinking that it should be a lot better than it is. This was an
opportunity for the Spree to take a leap of faith forward and
produce an album based less on novelty and more on musical genius.
Yet the ten tracks on the new album are littered with random,
drawn-out instrumental sections which don’t sound too good
and, with flutes and strings and trumpets, play far too heavily
on the reputation they gained as peace-loving musicians of the
back, that was the main drawback with the debut album which had
around four stand-out tracks on it but saw them sandwiched between
slow retro sounds that diluted the quality. There are songs on
the new album that are as good as "It’s The Sun"
and "Soldier Girl." "Two Thousand Places"
and "Hold Me Now" are impeccably played and sound great.
But "A Long Day Continues," "When A Fool Becomes
A King" and "Suitcase Calling" are over eight minutes
long each and much of that is whimpering and droning rubbish.
annoying is how a few refrains regurgitate lines from the first
album. “Hey, it’s the sun and it makes me shine”
is a great line, but leave it where it was and don’t bring
it into other songs!
Polyphonic Spree’s steam train gained pace after the debut
CD, but may be slowing down with this album at a time when the
band were due to support David Bowie’s mammoth tour of the
United States before the singer had to have emergency heart surgery.
CD is fun. But The Polyphonic Spree are right: sometimes they
are heavy together. Heavy enough to sink without a trace.
liked Together We're Heavy...
1. A Long Day
2. We Sound Amazed
3. Hold Me Now
5. Mild Devotion to Majesty
6. Two Thousand Places
7. Ensure Your Reservation
8. One Man Show
9. Suitcase Calling
10. Everything Starts at the Seam
11. When the Fool Becomes a King
12. Together We're Heavy