The Polyphonic Spree

Together We're Heavy (Good/Hollywood)

There's something downright annoying about two dozen neo-hippies in robes singing "Hail to the sky! The trees wanna grow! Grow! Grow! Grow!" Yet Tim DeLaughter's eco-minded choir somehow gets away with it. When the former Tripping Daisy frontman isn't leading his shiny, happy zombies through symphonic ELO-verload, he's resurrecting the embarrassing days when Coca-Cola tried to "teach the world to sing." No wonder Volkswagen and iPod tapped the Dallas-based band to hawk product. This stuff squats in the memory like a houseguest who smiles too much and won't leave.

Granted, DeLaughter is an ambitious idealist, combining more than a hundred tracks of multiple vocal harmonies, trombone, harp, theremin and a string section into one long, excessive ode to sunshine and chlorophyll. But for all the technical marvel, you can't help wondering if the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne wants to pull this pipsqueak aside and say, "Dude, you're aping my shtick."

 
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