Our Daily Bread 441: The Polyphonic Spree ‘Afflatus’

April 23, 2021

ALBUM REVIEW/Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea

The Polyphonic Spree ‘Afflatus’
16th April 2021

The sun is currently out and shining as I type this, and it gives you that inner glow that Summer is on the way, and what an ideal way to soundtrack that inner glow but with the brand-new album by The Polyphonic Spree.

It’s an album of covers in fact; an album where they attempt to cover the likes of The Rolling Stones, Abba, Daniel Johnston, even, Barry Manilow and others in their joyous life affirming magic. And in most parts they manage it.

The Stones’ ‘She’s A Rainbow’ adds nothing to the original but takes nothing away either from it, but their version of the Bee Gees ‘Run to Me’ is beautiful and gives one the Goosebumps with its heartfelt smoothed magnificence, and their version of The Monkees ‘Porpoise Song’ although not touching the original masterpiece does still do a good job of supplying us the listener with a piece of fine pop psych. Their version of Manilow’s ‘Could It Be Magic’ is again not quite matching the heights of the schmaltz of the original but still better than Take That’s’ version; having a more laid back approach than the lads from Manchester, giving it a melancholic edge. The highlight for me is their version of Abba’s ‘The Visitors’, which they cover in a wonderful harmony filled prog pop way. And on the whole this collection of ten covers is a lovely way to spend a relaxed sunny afternoon.


The cult leader of the infamous lo fi gods, The Bordellos, Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea has released countless recordings over the decades with his family band of hapless unfortunates, and is the owner of a most self-deprecating sound-off style blog. His most recent releases include the King Of No-Fi album, a collaborative derangement with the Texas miscreant Occult Character, Heart To Heart, and a series of double-A side singles (released so far, ‘Shattered Pop Kiss/Sky Writing’ and ‘Daisy Master Race/Cultural Euthanasia’). He has also released, under the Idiot Blur Fanboy moniker, a stripped-down classic album of resignation and Gallagher brothers’ polemics.

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.


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