Together We're Heavy [CD & DVD]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Still committed to the bigger-is-better aesthetic -- not to mention the theory that it's nice to be nice -- this 20-strong choir-cum-rock orchestra has carved out a unique niche on the slippery slope of modern rock. While referencing pop touchstones like Pet Sounds and vintage 5th Dimension, the Spree don't serve up their confections in bite-sized portions. Instead, Tim DeLaughter and company strive to swaddle listeners in cathedral-scaled opuses -- like the florid-but-fun "Section 18 Everything Starts at the Sea" -- that build with neo-prog doggedness. Together We're Heavy shows considerable growth from the seeds planted on The Beginning Stages of..., particularly in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Still committed to the bigger-is-better aesthetic -- not to mention the theory that it's nice to be nice -- this 20-strong choir-cum-rock orchestra has carved out a unique niche on the slippery slope of modern rock. While referencing pop touchstones like Pet Sounds and vintage 5th Dimension, the Spree don't serve up their confections in bite-sized portions. Instead, Tim DeLaughter and company strive to swaddle listeners in cathedral-scaled opuses -- like the florid-but-fun "Section 18 Everything Starts at the Sea" -- that build with neo-prog doggedness. Together We're Heavy shows considerable growth from the seeds planted on The Beginning Stages of..., particularly in a newfound willingness to strip away the sonic layers now and again, most successfully on the endearingly doe-eyed ballad "Section 13 A Mild Devotion to Majesty." DeLaughter still succumbs to his craving to hit people over the head, à la Andrew Lloyd Webber, but with the help of producer Eric Drew Feldman, he's channeled his orchestral aspirations more cogently: The opening "Section 11 A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed," for instance, may be his most perfectly arcing composition to date. It's awfully sweet, and unfailingly airy -- but like cotton candy, Together We're Heavy is ridiculously hard to resist.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
At first, the main difference between the Polyphonic Spree's major-label bow, Together We're Heavy, and their demos-turned-debut album, The Beginning Stages Of..., appears to be that the 20-odd members of the band are wearing colorful robes on the cover of Together We're Heavy instead of the snowy white garb that they used to wear. The newer album's track listing even picks up where The Beginning Stages Of... left off, beginning with "Section 11 A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed," and for the most part, Together We're Heavy's sonics are also a continuation. The band's sound and feel -- which recalls the sweeping symphonics of See You on the Other Side-era Mercury Rev minus the bipolar tendencies and the wide-eyed optimism of the Flaming Lips but without Wayne Coyne's Willy Wonka-like mischievousness -- remains intact as do platitude-like lyrics such as "It's the feel-good time of the day" and "keep yourself feeling brand-new." However, the changes that have been made on Together We're Heavy are small but significant. Thanks to co-producers Eric Drew Feldman and the Speekers, the album sounds more polished and elaborate than The Beginning Stages Of..., but not bigger, since the band's sound was already pretty massive. The songs' melodies are more complex, and often more restrained than they were before, particularly on the slow-building opening track and "Section 18 Everything Starts at the Sea," both of which are more about bathing the listener in warm, expansive sounds than verse-chorus-verse structure. Even the album's poppiest songs, like the bouncy "Section 12 Hold Me Now" and "Section 14 Two Thousand Places," don't sound quite as much like one long chorus as "Follow the Day" and "Soldier Girl" did, although nothing on this album is as immediate as either of those songs. Occasionally, as on "Section 19 When the Fool Becomes a King," the Polyphonic Spree still seems to want to bully its listeners into euphoria through sheer volume, but on Together We're Heavy, Tim DeLaughter and crew seem more aware that life, even in the smiley-face world they've created, isn't always rainbows and sunshine. "Section 16 One Man's Show" is one of their saddest songs, as well as one of their prettiest; even though it gradually gets bigger and louder, it's never bombastic. Likewise, the winsome ballads "Section 13 Diamonds/Mild Devotion to Majesty" and "Section 17 Suitcase Calling" acknowledge that life can be difficult, but remain cautiously optimistic. However, as distinctive as the band's sound is, it's not particularly varied, and two-thirds of the way through the album things may start to drag a little for those who aren't deeply indoctrinated in the ways of the Polyphonic Spree. But, for those whom the band's manifesto of boundless love, hope, and playfulness really strikes a chord, Together We're Heavy offers more uplifting, colorful psychedelic whimsy. [Together We're Heavy was also released in a special edition that included a bonus DVD, The Adventure of Listening, which featured two videos for "Follow the Day"; an interview with Tim DeLaughter; live performances from Tokyo's Summersonic Festival and Chicago's Cabaret Metro; and multimedia content including links to the band's website and the Flash-based "Quest for the Rest" game.]
Rolling Stone - Andrew Dansby
1/2 The gorgeous shape-shifting songs allow the diversity of the Spree's instrumentation, from strings to brass to theremin, to shine.
Tracks - Mark Rozzo
The Spree sound amazed at themselves -- as if every sun-drenched refrain were its own road to Damascus.

1/2 The gorgeous shape-shifting songs allow the diversity of the Spree's instrumentation, from strings to brass to theremin, to shine.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/2004
  • Label: Hollywood Records
  • UPC: 720616245526
  • Catalog Number: 162455

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Section 11: A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed (8:32)
  2. 2 Section 12: Hold Me Now (4:30)
  3. 3 Section 13: Diamonds/Mild Devotion to Majesty (4:55)
  4. 4 Section 14: Two Thousand Places (5:19)
  5. 5 Section 15: Ensure Your Reservation (1:41)
  6. 6 Section 16: One Man Show (5:01)
  7. 7 Section 17: Suitcase Calling (8:48)
  8. 8 Section 18 Everything Starts at the Seam (1:54)
  9. 9 Section 19 When the Fool Becomes a King (10:37)
  10. 10 Section 20 Together We're Heavy (9:02)
Disc 2
  1. 1 A Blissed Out Occasion: The Anthem for Summer Camp/It's the ...
  2. 2 Air Near the Ground: Soldier Girl/Hanging Around the Day, Pts. 1 & 2
  3. 3 Confessions of an Instigator
  4. 4 Light & Day
  5. 5 Light & Day
  6. 6 The Tramp (A Vignette)
  7. 7 Quest for the Rest
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Polyphonic Spree Primary Artist
Tim DeLaughter Organ, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Human Whistle, Sampling, Tubular Bells
Mark Pirro Bass
Bryan Wakeland Percussion, Trap Kit
Michael A. Turner Vocals
Joe Butcher Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Fitzgerald Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Evan Hisey Organ, Synthesizer
Audrey Easley Flute, Piccolo, Human Whistle, Train Whistle, Electronic Winds
Toby Halbrook Theremin
Logan Keese Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals
James Reimer Trombone, Glockenspiel
Jessie Hester Piano, Vocals
Jennifer Jobe Vocals
Jessica Jordan Vocals
Jennie Kelley Vocals
Kelly Repka Vocals
Rick Nelson Violin, Viola, Upright Bass
Julie Duncanville Vocals, Narrator
Louis Schwadron French Horn
Ricky Rasura Classical Harp
Technical Credits
Tim DeLaughter Composer, Lyricist, Artwork, Art Direction
Eric Drew Feldman Producer
Allen Sides Engineer
Rail Jon Rogut Digital Editing
Mark Chalecki Mastering
Michael A. Turner Contributor
Dave Willingham Engineer
Lincoln Wheeler Producer
Rubberman Composer
The Polyphonic Spree Composer
Jessie Hester Contributor
Jennifer Jobe Contributor
Jessica Jordan Contributor
Jennie Kelley Contributor
Kelly Repka Contributor
Julie Duncanville Contributor
Andrew Paul Baker Engineer
Ken Bunt Producer
Jonathan Notaro Logo Design
Speekers Producer, Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Highly Highly Recommended!! My autistic son loves the CD

    My autistic son loves the cd. We play it for friends and cant believe they have not heard of them. This cd is really great for putting on headphones and just kicking back :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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