Dallas concoction The Polyphonic Spree is part choir, band, symphony and vaudeville show, and "The Fragile Army"' the follow-up to its critically acclaimed 2004 album "Together We're Heavy"' proves the gimmick is over.
What used to be charming' a rotating cast of dozens of bandmates, a choir, a theremin and French horn' now seems lackluster and forced. The nearest thing the band has to a front man, music orchestrator and arranger Tim DeLaughter, somehow made "The Fragile Army" more meandering and meaningless.
The third track, "Get Up and Go," at least has a beat and a definable structure, and "Mental Cabaret" has a semi-likable dance quality to it. But the rest of the album sounds like a drug-addled anxiety attack set to tape by "Brady Bunch" extras. Take this CD with two Xanax.