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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will change the world, 29 Jun 2004
By 
Elliot Davies "ahttt" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
Q magazine recently had an article entitled "50 bands who changed the world", which included the usual gang of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd etc. Yet what annoyed me was a pointless little section entitled "bands who failed to change the world", which for some reason included The Polyphonic Spree. Their comments were head-shakingly pathetic: "The site of thirty-odd fanatics in robes is less funny the second time you see them." and "last seen claiming their next album will be more epic than death valley."
Of course, what Q failed to take into consideration was how, for a large amount of people, The Polyphonic Spree have changed their world. Live shows for example are like a religous experience, concentrated happiness. Perhaps Q were basing their claims on the fact that the first album was admittedly a bit of a mess: On CD, the songs were mere shadows of their live equivalents, and as it lasted less than thirty minutes, they added a full half hour of disturbing sound effects to the end. When a special edition with alternate versions was released some time later, it only served to complicate matters further.
Yet now we finally have a "proper" Spree album, one that can live up to the fanatastic nature of the live shows. Finally we can hear live anthems such as the beautiful 2000 Places and the epic Hold Me Now in our living rooms. Every track is a potential classic, from the gentle crecsendo lead ambience of Together We're Heavy to the gebtle optimism of Suitcase Calling.
This album is like a large extended middle finger pointed directly at Q magazine. It shows that they are indeed more epic than death valley, and oh yes, they will change the world.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Polyphonic Spree: A Band Like No Other, 28 July 2004
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
To my knowledge there is no band quite like The Polyphonic Spree. Aside from the fact that they are twenty-plus Texans in white or multicoloured robes, their music and outlook on life is one that is truly unique in the today's music industry. "Together We're Heavy" projects the feel-good attitude of the band onto the listener and can't fail to leave a smile on the face. The Polyphonic Spree's first album "The Beginning Stages Of..." was a great album, with Light& Day, Hangin' Around the Day and Soldier Girl being the highlights. However not much else on the album really shone like those three songs (with the possible exception of "It's the Sun") Though there debut album showcased the talents, energy and creativeness of all the band members (not least lead singer Tim DeLaughter) it didn't feel like they were really showing us their full potential (the album was recorded in a mere three days). But here we have a Polyphonic Spree album that shines from start to finish and really shows us what these 24 guys can do.
If you are not yet familiar with the Polyphonic Spree, buy this album and get familiar! Trust me, you won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 Texans make Beautiful Music, 16 July 2004
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
If you told me 10 years ago that i would be enjoying the sounds of 22 texans singing choir orchestral music i'd have said "oh yeah what next a band of heavy metal rockers wearing metal clown masks?", truth is that i am and its bizarre. This could possibly be one of the most pleasing follow ups to the magnificant debut album.
The album fades in where the strange ending of the last album left off and carrys on its glorious "everything is beautiful" feeling. In this album it works slightly differently. Theres no real "Soldier Girl" or "Hanging around the day" on this album because the songs are more focused lyrically. It flows from start to finish brilliantly and if you were to merge "The Beginning stage of..." and "Together we're heavy" as 1 big MP3 then you would really see how talented and serious The Polyphonic Spree are about there music.
Its hard to point out where the album peaks or falls but that in my opinion is a good thing. What is really pleasing is that listening to it from start to finish does give you that great sense of joy that The Polyphonic Spree actually believe in and the album is beautifully finished off with a touch of a couple of interlude instrumental tracks. I was so tempted to give this 5 stars but i feel that slightly more variance from the 1st album was needed, needless to say however if you enjoyed the 1st album then you will enjoy this. However i strongly advise that the best listening experience is to have the first album and then listen to this, and you too will share the love that the Spree bring!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mild devotion to musical majesty, 16 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
Oh wow - a 1970s-style, kaftan-clad, over-the-top slice of complete madness: my new favourite album ever.
It makes me want to smile every time I hear it... Every instrument you can think of playing at the same time, and why bother with sampling when you can just get 25 people together to sing all the parts?
Unless you're watching the track listings, every track runs into the other and you don't know where it begins and ends; perfect music for a sunny summer day or for a rainy autumn evening.
One warning, though: its so musically dense that over-listening at high volume (and what other kind is there?) can (quite literally) kill your headphones!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here come the Polyphonics... and they make me SMILE, 2 July 2004
By 
"kdonn2410" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
YAY, theyre back and in technicolour! It is summertime and everything is lovely and together we're heavy.
This album is the musical equivalent to prozac. I myself am a morose Joy Divison\Interpol fan but nobody resists the charm of Tim De Laughter and the gang. 'Together we're Heavy' is not only the sunshine on CD, but it is also an improvement to 'The Beginning Stages of...'. Firstly, there is no 40 minute track of horrific arrr-ing sounds. Secondly, the polyphonics have grown as song writers. The tracks are epic (but not ridiculous), uplifting (but not trivial) and are just... lovely!
Actually, thinking about it, this album is not THAT different to the first, more of a subtley improved extension.
I strongly recommend this to anyone who listens to the Smiths during June\July. Forget you misery-moz sorrows and hey! Here Comes the Sun AND HE MAKES US SMILE!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blissful!, 12 July 2004
By 
Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
The Polyphonic Spree are a band you'll either love or hate. Their first album was *almost* perfect, spoiled only by the last track, so what are they like now?
Simple: They're better!
"Together We're Heavy" has ten tracks, half of which are over five minutes long, but each and every one is truly blissful. Stand-out tracks for me at the moment are "Hold Me Now", "Two Thousand Places", "Suitcase Calling", "One Man Band" and "When The Fool Becomes a King", but every track is a gem. Listen to it in one go (as the inlay advised) and be swept away.
I want a robe now :-)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Difficult" second album?, 28 Aug 2004
By 
M. Young "Amuro Ray" (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
More like "Heavenly" second album! Any fears that the spree would become nothing more than a novelty are well and truly chased away with more joyful music! The begining stages.. was just that, a BEGINING stage to the band, and this album sees the band step bravely into there next stage, as a band whos sheer mass helps them rise above most other modern bands. The spree defy what is "cool" these days ("raw" sounding "garage" rock) to provide over the top and insanly well produced songs that ANYONE can enjoy.
On there debut, the band seemed afraid to let there songs reach there true potential and although songs like "Soilder Girl", "Hanging Around" and "Its the Sun" were instantly likable, they always seemed like they could have gone that one bit futher. On this album, the spree let there songs live and grow, without the confines of time or budget. Opener "We sound Amazed" bursts into our ears, before shrinking into a well aranged instrumental and leading into the pop perfection that is "Hold me now". Songs such as "2000 Places", "Suitcase Calling" and the wonderful "Fool becomes a king" have many stages which, rather than being repeated over and over like on the debut, grow into something else even more catchy, untill they finally explode into what can only be described as musical nirvana. This means, although being long songs, they never get old and can be re-lsitened to over and over. Meanwhile "Ensure your Reservation" and "Everything Starts at the Seam" provide a needed rest between these epic tracks. More melencholy tracks like "Suitcase Calling" and "One Man Show" present a new side to the Spree, and make songs such as "Diamonds" seem all the more uplifting. By acknowleging these bad times, the band expand there music where it was once confined into happy songs only.
What the band have perfected then, is structure. Misused, these songs could have seemed corney and over long, but arranged as they are, they are not individual songs but, as the listing suggests, sections of one whole music entity that is the Polyphonic Spree. Therefore it is best listened to as the packeging suggests, as one whole album.
This edition features a fantastic DVD which, as well as videos and a 15 minute interview with Tim, have GREAT live preformances. A dissapointment of the first album was that it never captured the joy and energy of the sprees live performace, but when comparing the fantastic live version of "When a Fool..." to the album version, it is clear to see that this time the spree really have captured their essence within the album. Every track is great (the ones i havn't mentioned are just as good as the ones i have) and the added bonus of the DVD means that this is possibly the best value for money album you can buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And on the seventh-and-a-half day, the Lady said:, 14 July 2004
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This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
"Let there be the Spree. Let their light shine upon the world and bring beauty and joy to all that hear them, for theirs is the divine gift of smile-inducement, the ability to lift even the darkest heart into the Bright Lands. Let all who hear The Spree smile through the day; let them lift their voices and sing in joyous praise of the beauty of my Creation. And let those that wear the Holy Robes of the Spree be worshipped, for the words of Tim de Laughter are the Truth, and only through Him shall ye come to me." And the Lady looked at her Creation, and saw that it was good.
I think this may just be the most addictive album *ever*. Who can listen to the Spree and not grin like an idiot? In fact, who can listen to the Spree and not secretly dream of being allowed to be in the choir for just one show?
Super Furry Animals have been my unrivalled favourite band since 1996. Finally - FINALLY - someone has come close. If the Spree could sing in Welsh, they'd be perfect...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting side note..., 10 July 2004
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
What the last reviewer forgot to mention, or was most likely unaware of, is that Q Magazine has evidently changed their tune, quite starkly, and much in The Polyphonic Spree's favour. Their review of Together We're Heavy (4/5 stars):
"At first listen, this follow-up to 2002's The Beginning Stages Of... feels like being trapped in an amdram production of HAiR directed by The Simpson's Ned Flanders. Nevertheless, it's impossible to dismiss the amount of love this increasingly admired Texan band put into their piano-led, Beach Boys-esque arrangements, nor the bittersweet theme of moving on to find oneself within the extraordinary, Hunky Dory-influenced One Man Show and Suitcase Calling. It's a sugar rush muse destined to be adored or despised. But Together We're Heavy's transcendant qualities grow as it flows onward, and the sheer musical ambition of the Spree's pet sound finally, really defies cynicism."
I love this record; it is truly a wonderful example of the perseverance of the creative spirit, and of the human spirit. Rock and roll has rarely acheived such persavise beauty.
Also, as an editorial note to Amazon, there are only ten tracks on this album: Track 1 is A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed, then track 2: Hold Me Now, and track 3 is then Diamonds/Mild Devotion To Majesty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars middle stages, 23 July 2004
By 
G (edinburgh uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Together We're Heavy (Audio CD)
i loved 'the beginning stages....' but alway felt it lacked a few things. Any problems with the first album have been well and truley ironed out leaving us with this amazing album.
The tunes are as strong as ever, but the arrangements are so much more controlled, you almost forget the novelty factor of 22 band members playing flutes, trumpets and trombones as the structure of every song on here is always greater than the sum of its parts.
The album as a whole is uplifting, but does dip into dark parts not expected from this band, this just adds to the diversity that is welcome over 58 glorious minutes.
Forget what this band look like or the instruments they play.
This is a happy album, but not stupidly happy, not silly, it makes you smile, this sounds like you smiling so much you almost cry.
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