"Together We’re Heavy" (2004) by the Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree are a 20+ person band from Texas. They all wear different coloured robes so their clothes don’t attract attention away from their music and so the audience doesn’t judge them. Together We’re Heavy is their first ‘true’ record – their official debut was only intended as a demo and was released due to popular demand. Its tracks are entitled Sections 11-20, with each track having a subtitle, which follows on from their first record’s Sections 1-10 and suggests that all of the Spree’s output is going to be one huge piece. I’ll admit to being one of the many who discovered this group on Scrubs, and I really don’t care, because they are one of the best discoveries I’ve ever made.

Together We’re Heavy is a very upbeat, happy record. It makes you smile and dance and sing. You can just tell that the band are having fun while they play this music, and those feelings ooze onto you. I’ve seen footage of them live, and you watch them all jumping around and dancing and you just can’t help but smile. This record uses common instruments – you know, drums, guitar, etc – as well as some much more obscure ones like the theremin and harp. There really is no other way of describing this record – it’s epic, happy, inspiring and uplifting.

I know that the whole track-section-idea-thingo is a little self righteous and pretentious, as is the robe-idea. I don’t care though. It’s just good music. Some critics call them ‘artificially happy’, but from the first track to the last track, these 57 minutes of music will leave you beaming and inspired. This record is well worth a look, but you might be hard pressed to find it in a record store; I imported my copy. If you need something to lift you up and make your day, this is for you.

Choice tracks: Section 12 (Hold Me Now), Section 14 (Two Thousand Places), Section 19 (When The Fool Becomes A King)


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