Home Read Classic Album Review: Polyphonic Spree | The Beginning Stages Of …

Classic Album Review: Polyphonic Spree | The Beginning Stages Of …

The Texas orch-pop collective blend Brian Wilson, Up With People & a religious cult.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Some groups must be seen to be believed. Dallas’s Polyphonic Spree are definitely one of them.

Led by former Tripping Daisy singer Tim DeLaughter, the Spree are a self-described “choral symphonic pop band” with nearly 30 members — a raft of musicians playing everything from guitar and keyboards to French horn and Theremin, plus a full choir — who dress in white robes with different coloured hems. If that sounds like a cross between Up With People, a mid-’70s Brian Wilson session and a religious cult, well, so does their music. Their debut album, The Beginning Stages Of … — available a year ago in the U.S. but only now making its way north — is an hour-long affirmation of positivity, joy and good vibrations, enthusiastically expressed in magnificent orch-pop anthems such as Days Like This Keep Me Warm, Reach For The Sun and A Long Day. I once saw them hold an audience of music biz weasels like me transfixed at 9 a.m. They should have no trouble doing the same to you at any hour.