Have these guys seen the news lately? It’s not really the time for sunny optimism. Or maybe that’s the point. Dallas’s POLYPHONIC SPREE, led by ex­Tripping Daisy front man Tim DeLaughter, is a twenty-odd-member band that traffics in Sgt. Pepper’s/Pet Sounds orchestral pop—decked out in choir robes, no less—with a blissful cultlike fervor. Onstage, their enthusiasm is catching. Getting it on record is another matter. Their second album and proper major-label debut, TOGETHER WE’RE HEAVY (Hollywood), is gorgeous-sounding, full of swirling and gliding ear candy. For a while, it really takes hold. Then again … You know when you run into unrelentingly upbeat people? Their attitudes seem refreshing at first, right up until the point that you suddenly want to strangle them.

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