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The Fragile Army
The Polyphonic Spree
The Fragile Army
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Deluxe enhanced UK pressing of their 2007 features one bonus audio track ('Checking Out') plus one bonus enhanced track (the music video for 'Running Away'). The Polyphonic Spree's new album The Fragile Army is a passionat...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: The Polyphonic Spree
Title: The Fragile Army
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Gut Music UK
Release Date: 9/10/2007
Album Type: Extra tracks, Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 5060087564777

Synopsis

Album Description
Deluxe enhanced UK pressing of their 2007 features one bonus audio track ('Checking Out') plus one bonus enhanced track (the music video for 'Running Away'). The Polyphonic Spree's new album The Fragile Army is a passionate explosion that finds the legendary 23 piece symphonic rock group joyfully raging against the dying of the light with newfound zeal. See them on tour all summer. Gut.

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CD Reviews

The Spree Unleashed At Last!
James S. Morris | Durham, NH | 06/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If there was ever any question as to whether the Polyphonic Spree could rock your freakin socks off, it has been laid to rest with their release of The Fragile Army. This album is, in short, nothing less than a masterpiece, perhaps destined to become the Spree's all-time classic. Almost every song is excellent. The Spree, under the direction of their visionary leader, Tim DeLaughter, have taken their ultra-uplifting, relentlessly optimistic approach to music and injected it with a dose of high octane rock & roll. The result is an album with everything we always loved about the Spree (tremendous choral arrangements, regal brass flourishes, and smiley-faced lyrics), plus a bunch of new things to love (cool guitar leads, compact song structures, and a slightly harder edge). Although I loved Together We're Heavy (and still do), this is a more focused, catchy, and immediate collection of songs.

The album begins with a cool intro taken from the end of Together We're Heavy, and quickly blasts into high gear with Section 22 (Running Away). This song is clearly meant to attract the attention of new fans, with its driving beat and catchy melody. The excitement level (and volume) stays set at 11 for Section 23 (Get Up and Go), which gives us the first dose of the Spree's compelling new sound. The stomping rock beat and strident guitar leads are sure to grab your attention, while DeLaughter's sports announcer vocals ring out over the din. This is followed by the epic title track, which features a great, building middle section. The best song on the album, and one of the Spree's best ever, is Section 29 (Light to Follow). Beginning with a startling techno drum beat and ambient synthesizers, it contains some truly impressive moments that set it apart even amidst the many other great songs. Other highlights include the gentler We Crawl, the broadway-esque Guaranteed Nightlight, and The Championship.
"
The Spree take a Side-Step
Jason | USA | 06/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Make no mistake. This is a solid record. It's also an improvement on past work in some ways. Unfortunately, it seems that Tim and company have taken two steps forward and two steps back.

This release shows a return of sorts for Tim Delaughter to a songwriting style reminiscent of his work with Tripping Daisy. Gone almost completely are the lyrics consisting of four to eight lines which get repeated over and over again (thankfully). Instead, we get lyrical ideas which are almost entirely fleshed out. The end result is a collection of songs which are well-constructed, concise, and almost unrelentingly cheerful.

Sadly, it's this merit which is also the album's downfall. The formulaic songwriting works until about half-way through the album, and while the songs of the second half are just as strong as those of the first, it's hard to notice because there's really nothing new to surprise you by the time you get that far. And while it's nice to have more concise songs, we lose those magically epic moments found in tracks such as "Suitcase Calling" and "When the Fool Becomes a King" from their 2004 release "Together We're Heavy."

Another issue facing this record is the orchestration. While past Spree albums have placed more of an emphasis on the orchestral instruments, this album sounds like an indie-rock/pop band merely augmenting its sound with expanded instrumentation. The "extra" players are given the role of extras and don't come out of those roles very often. Even the quaint little choir is downplayed on this album. The standard rock instruments give the arrangements very little room to breathe for most of the album and little room for the tiny orchestra to shine.

However, this album shouldn't be discarded completely. There are some great tunes here including the first single "Running Away," and the track "Mental Cabaret" which made a previous appearance on the oft overlooked "Wait" EP. These songs hit us full force with the joy that The Polyphonic Spree have become so well known for. However, the end result is really something that doesn't quite harness the band's full potential. Hopefully we can look forward to them achieving that in the future."
Never bothered to listen to these guys- mistake!
Brian Moore | Florida | 06/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I never jumped (or perhaps floated)on this particular band wagon. From friend's descriptions it sounded way too hippiesque for my tastes. On a lark I purchased this album and have not been dissapointed. This disc reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd during their Wall era with a dash of Arcade Fire althouh it is almost relentlessly upbeat.

20+ members, harmonies, strings, weird 60ish arangements. Pretty satisfying all in all. I don't know that I will become a convert but I dig this disc. If you enjoy some of the newer bands to come out as of late like the Arcade Fire and grew up listening to oldies this could be for you. Especially if you like a little more layering to your music, providing an opportunity to discover a little more on each listen."