The Polyphonic Spree, The Beginning Stages Of

John Wray

By John Wray

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

If Flaming Lips 'Wayne Coyne joined forces with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the result would probably bear a close resemblance to the cheerily, cheesily uplifting sound of the Polyphonic Spree. Led by former Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter, the 20-to-30-member Dallas group (which performs in concert wearing flowing white robes, enhancing their already cultish vibe) play pop-psychedelic symphonies that feature gorgeously layered choral vocals. Recorded in only three days, The Beginning Stages Of. . . nonetheless sounds as if it were delivered from on high — profoundly sunny and relentlessly anthemic, the tracks are thickly layered with Theremin, flute, timpani, horns, you name it. Choice cuts include the strident "Soldier Girl" and the soaring "It's the Sun" (whose seemingly banal lyrics — "Hey now, it's the sun/ And it makes me shine" — are miraculously transformed into an inspirational mantra). Prepare yourself for a beautiful brainwashing.