Choral pop evangelists return. Lightning doesn't strike twice

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The Polyphonic Spree – Together We’re Heavy

The first Polyphonic Spree album?a daft and rapturous indie-pop-gospel-opera contrived by Tim Delaughter and two dozen of his Dallas disciples?looked like something of a one-off in 2002. Even after massive acclaim, the Spree’s UK label, 679, evidently agreed, dropping them in 2003. Now back on his own Good imprint here, Delaughter’s predictable response has been to go further over the top: Together We’re Heavy is bigger, lusher, more toothsome and glutinous, overdoing the ELO-go-Moonie delirium that made the first album alternately thrilling and creepy. Again, there are great moments, notably older tunes like “Two Thousand Places” and “When The Fool Becomes A King”. But Delaughter is stingier with his pop songs this time, filling out the album with much ponderous, quasi-symphonic ballast. And his muppetish Wayne Coyne impression is now more irritating than winsome. Clearly, extreme joy has its limits as a creative tool.