The Beginning Stages of...

The Polyphonic Spree, brainchild of ex-Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter, is a huge musical collective with over two dozen members. Yes, you read that right: over two dozen. Actually, exactly 27 people, ranging from age 15 to 36, can be seen posing for the band photo in the album artwork. That's not the only interesting thing about The Beginning Stages of... either. The album also has no song titles, which actually makes sense because it is definitely a piece of work that should be experienced as a whole. Adding to the unique sound and presentation of this record is the way in which DeLaughter decided to organize the recording. During the recording, he acts as a conductor of sorts, providing the framework of the songs but allowing each of the other members to create their own parts. The result of all of these unique ingredients is what the band describes as "choral symphonic pop." Whatever it's called, the Polyphonic Spree have put together one of the most unique albums in recent memory. Its rich texture and painstaking production hold the album together and, amid all of the clearly experimental elements, it is still surprisingly accessible. Fans of the Flaming Lips, the Beach Boys, or Spiritualized will dig The Polyphonic Spree. I can't wait to see them live. Did I mention that they all wear long, white, cult-like robes? It must be quite an experience.

The Polyphonic Spree
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The Beginning Stages of...