Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The sheer joy of their music is undeniably persuasive, evoking the otherworldly brilliance of everything from Pet Sounds to The Soft Bulletin.
  2. The more anthemic crowd-pleasing numbers littered throughout The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree boast such endlessly repeated refrains as "Hey/ It's the Sun/ And it makes me Shine," which lose a lot of their appeal when taken out of their natural habitat (the live setting) and placed between your headphones.
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    There's the humanist warmth and simple joy that you hear in The Beach Boys or The Flaming Lips at their best. [Nov 2002, p.114]
  4. Mojo
    70
    Their pop peaks sound like an ecstatic communion of Mercury Rev, ELO and the cast of Hair. [Oct 2002, p.110]
  5. This sloppy but spirited congregation may well end up as an alt-rock novelty, but more disciplined souls might want to follow the way that The Beginning Stages of . . . suggests.
  6. So contagious is their enthusiasm, you could start thinking that black-clad nihilism has kept music to itself for way too long.
  7. Though he could stand to loosen the reins and let his sidemen push the songs into more adventurous territory, DeLaughter has at least figured out how to create a dramatic effect.
  8. The good news is that The Polyphonic Spree still make sense stripped of all visual gimmicks.
  9. Somehow The Polyphonic Spree have managed to make a record that actually is simple, joyous, and spiritually uplifting.
  10. Urb
    90
    This record sounds like nothing else in your collection. [Oct 2003, p.84]
  11. One listen, and you'll be hooked on the happiness.
  12. While the upbeat message is laudable, the entire exercise could prove overly precious, not to mention repetitive, if not for a few tunes that help add much needed variety.
  13. Depending on your partiality for mid-’70s macramé culture, this is either a gift from the gods or the worst thing that could possibly happen to pop culture since bellbottoms made a comeback.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 5 out of 20
  1. Nickp
    May 1, 2006
    7
    yeah the lyrics are crap (as with almost all t pop music) but this is somwhat interesting musically
  2. BobH
    Jul 11, 2005
    7
    Listening to the whole thing at once is a bit too much. But despite it being very (almost overly) sweet, it's a charming piece of work. Listening to the whole thing at once is a bit too much. But despite it being very (almost overly) sweet, it's a charming piece of work. Not all songs have to have huge amounts of meaning-sometimes they're just mindless fun. P.S. It's Barney, not Barnie. Just so you get your insult right. Full Review »
  3. BrandonS.
    Jul 29, 2004
    3
    Hey Ryan, what connection do you have with Dan Smith just wondering. I don't see how these guys are a ripoff, but I would much rather Hey Ryan, what connection do you have with Dan Smith just wondering. I don't see how these guys are a ripoff, but I would much rather listen to Danielson Fam. Full Review »