That was SXSW 2002, and I was blown away by their bombastic combination of feel-good exuberance and Godspell-era flourishes. With their robes, beatific smiles, theremin, horns and flute, this disheveled mob was a trip back to the time when I lived from one weekly Partridge Family episode to the next. You’d expect a schtick like that to age poorly. But even without the element of surprise, the Spree still hits it on the head more often than not a decade-plus later. Yes, It’s True is their first album since 2007 (not counting last year’s Christmas knock- off Holidaydream), and that youthful Isabel Marant Shoes Sale rush has given way to something closer to stoicism. In 2002, the Spree overpowered you with their rush of fresh-faced positivity in the face of overwhelming negativity.Tim DeLaughter and company are still fighting the good fight, but it hasn’t come without cost. Or as DeLaughter and his backup singers put it on “Hold Yourself Up,” “Anticipation, ah, this frustration, this nation has shaken my hope.” Yes, It’s True shows off a few new tricks, most notably some electrorhythmic trickery on “You Don’t Know Me” and “Popular Design.” But mostly, it’s another rallying cry to kindred spirits that even if you’ve got no home, life ain’t all bad as long as you’ve got a voice to sing with. Give in, get happy.
— DAVID MENCONI
Originally published in .