Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree, Patrick Park
Aladdin Theatre
April 21, 7 p.m.
All ages, $12.50

During the year I have been writing about music for the Daily Vanguard, I have come to think of myself as more of a serious rock critic than a frivolous music reviewer, but is there an objective opinion to be had of the Polyphonic Spree? Most music that appeals primarily to the emotions seems to be working to bring the listener down and, not wanting to be depressed, it is easier to distance oneself from the emotional drag and write from a more objective standpoint. The Polyphonic Spree, however, is interested only in being happy and making the listener happy, and I’ll be damned if I want to distance myself from such a feeling. I suppose a more tortured, jaded music critic might take pleasure in dissing the saccharine charms of the Spree, but what is the point of such practice when one’s readership is less tortured, less jaded and simply checking out the A&C section for signs of a good time to be had?

The only real criticism I can think to make of this group is that, given its size, I believe it could stand to make an ever greater amount of joyful noise than it does. I would not be surprised if the standard stereophonic, or even quadraphonic, music format simply cannot contain the full range of the Spree’s polyphonic jubilance and that a live experience is the only way to appreciate the vast array of its sound.

As this group has taught me that more voices equal a better product, I solicited reviews via e-mail from friends around the Northwest and the world to augment my own. Here is what they had to say:

“The Polyphonic Spree is better than the Candy Spree. The Polyphonic Spree is like kids parading home from the last day of school. Tim D. is the sun and he makes me shine! Gee Are Oh Double You! -Darin Shuler, Olympia, Wash.

It is physically impossible for me not to be happy when I listen to this band.” -Zach Malm, Seattle, Wash.

“Usually billed as an indie-rock orchestra and chorus, the Polyphonic Spree is basically a pretty blur specializing in crescendos running under the squeakily happy voice of the singer from Tripping Daisy. It’s pretty much what the name implies, like being pummeled with a sack of colorful little discs of lemon, cherry and lots more exciting flavors. You’re not really sure what’s happening, and more importantly you’re not sure how you should feel, but it’s all done with a smile and in the purest of spirits, so you can’t help but feel charmed, if a bit perplexed.” -Will Whitaker, Portland, Ore.

“How many people are in this band? While harmonically unified, the various voices maintain rhythmic as well as melodic independence. They make me feel like I’m about to watch ‘Growing Pains’ or ‘Full House.'” -Rochelli Belli, Milan, Italy.

“Are they cool? How about the new Cursive? I ordered it along with an Azure Ray album from Saddle Creek, so it better be good … tell me it’s good!” -Cody Yantis, Dublin, Ireland.