Release Date: Jun 19, 2007
Record label: TVT
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The Fragile Army succeeds in large part because of the groundedness of its subject matter. Its production is truly elegant thanks to John Congleton and mixing engineer Jay Ruston. The melodies are far more varied than on previous outings, and the sense of dynamics and balance of tension in these songs -- and the arrangements that accompany them -- are the most sophisticated this group has ever pulled off.
Time has begun taking its toll on the Polyphonic Spree. With this third LP, the Dallas-based symphonic pop platoon abandons its childlike release and floral robes in favor of black military fatigues, transforming their passive resistance into a sharp-edged sonic assault. Credit belongs to the production by the Paper Chase's John Congleton, whose signature schizophrenia is clearly heard in the immediacy of "Section 22 (Running Away)"; "Mental Cabaret," the only repeat from last year's Wait EP; and "Get Up and Go," which recalls the Arcade Fire's bleak "Black Mirror." The Fragile Army also borrows heavily from the apocalyptic guitar structures and cinematic grandeur of Ziggy Stardust.