Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Multi-Channel Music > Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy (DVD-Audio)

The Polyphonic Spree – Together We’re Heavy (DVD-Audio)


PCM Stereo: B     MLP 5.1: A     DTS 5.1: A     Extras: B-     Music: C



My introduction to The Polyphonic Spree was just a random one, which upon my first listen I felt that the band was doing something different than most at this time.  Not only that, but their sound was a blend of The Beatles’ Penny Lane mixed with a choir and various instrumentations, so it showed promise.  The band is made up of 20 some odd members who wear robes of various colors, and if that isn’t interesting enough, just wait until you hear this DVD-Audio.  Note I said interesting, not to be confused with awesome or super or anything along those lines, just interesting.


Before I rant on about this DVD-Audio perhaps I should back up and give an overall impression to the album entitled Together We’re Heavy, whatever that is suppose to mean.  I am a bit disappointed overall with this venture and it seems like a rushed project that just throws a bunch of tunes together, which range from happy to super happy to ridiculously happy to bizarre and happy.  Whatever the mood, it’s pretty much in happy mode straight through.  Enough to make you nearly sick or wish that the Kool-Aid guy would come busting through the wall, at least then there would be something to drink. 


Talented?  Perhaps this group, which is probably considered more like a ‘collective’ does have talent since they play instruments, have choir-like arrangements, and have some interesting harmonies, but their songs mesh together after awhile almost like taking a bunch of skittles and putting them into a blender, which makes a nasty swirl of color nearly impossible to discern where one happy color begins and the other one ends.  Just look at the titles for the songs:


1. Section 11 (A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed)

2. Section 12 (Hold Me Now)

3. Section 13 (Diamonds/Mild Devotion to Majesty)

4. Section 14 (Two Thousand Places)

5. Section 15 (Ensure Your Reservation)

6. Section 16 (One Man Show)

7. Section 17 (Suitcase Calling)

8. Section 18 (Everything Starts at the Seam)

9. Section 19 (When the Fool Become A King)

10. Section 20 (Together We're Heavy)


Boy, I sure am glad that they are broken into ‘sections’ otherwise the listener might get confused as to which song they are listening to.  I mean, how ridiculous would it be saying to a buddy of yours, “Hey man you listen to that new song by The Polyphonic Spree called Section Three (Diamonds/Mild Devotion to Majesty)”?  Who on Earth would even want to say that?  It almost makes one embarrassed to even say you listen to them at all.  Oh it gets worse, there is a music video as part of the bonus section, which is for Light and Day (a song off their previous record), which is available either animated or live action.  The live action one is so bizarre and makes that scene in This is Spinal Tap all the more funny when they do the song Listen to the Flower People.  Now the animated one is a bit more interesting if you are into smoking weed, but otherwise you’d probably rather watch the Ricola commercial over and over.  


My recommendation for the band next time is to just have one long track called Sections One Through Ten (Overly Happy and Annoying Songs For Your Listening Displeasure), which might make more sense anyway.  I think I’ve vented off long enough about the actual album, but the DVD-Audio is still solid and comes close to making the material actual worth listening to.  The DTS 5.1 mix is my preference offering better low-end presence, while the MLP 5.1 appears to deliver better high-end tonality.  The PCM is also quite clear, but does not offer some of the flexibility that the 5.1 mixes do. 


Some songs really take advantage of the full surround field, while others remain more neutral with the mix.  Overall, the sound is strong and prominent, even if you are not a fan of the music, you can appreciate some of the placement and direction of the mix.  This DVD-Audio also offers a mix breakdown so that on certain songs you can hear where certain instruments or vocals are placed more specifically.  


If you are a fan or even semi-interested in The Polyphonic Spree, then this DVD-Audio offers a better perspective of their musical ability versus the CD, which may be cause to purchase.  If you are just looking for something to show off your sound system than look elsewhere because even though it has a nice mix, the music will most likely drive you nuts, unless your name is Rainbow Brite.



-   Nate Goss


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com