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CD Review: Built To Spill – You In Reverse

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This writer has been at a loss about how to review this brilliant new album from Built to Spill. It is unusual for me to be at a loss for words, but it’s an occupational hazard when attempting music criticism. I’ll elaborate on that thought some other time.

I type this while sitting at a Borders, after looking at music magazines and books in a failed attempt to find a better way to describe this band and album. Listening to this CD on repeat, I find myself smiling and wanting to just sit here all day. I could just say that this new album, You In Reverse, blows me away like I have not been blown in a long time.

The album starts with its best song, “Goin’ Against Your Mind,” a great introduction to the band. After about a two minute instrumental showcasing some of Doug Martsch’s amazing guitar skills, he begins to sing.

There are other great bands with this elegant wall-of-guitar-sound style, Jesus and Mary Chain, Sugar, and Dinosaur Jr., but too often those bands are lacking in the vocal department. Martsch’s vocals and lyrics neither grate nor irk and, indeed, seem to add one more layer to this multi-layered musical assault.

Blogcritic Mark Saleski does a great job of describing the beauty of this first song in his review of Time Trap. The rest of the album is equally engaging, mesmerizing and captivating.

I could lament that I have not heard of this Boise, Idaho-based band before I received this album. Instead, I will just say that this album reminds me how good a band at the top of its game can be, with rocking guitar jams and solos.

This could be treated as a news story: the indie rock band has released its first album in five years. But while the album comes out officially on April 11, a planned tour has been delayed after Martsch had to undergo emergency retina surgery. To keep the fans busy, the record label is inviting people to play a computer basketball game against Martsch at builttospill.com.

Let me put it this way: if music were food then Built To Spill would be chocolate and this album would be better than any box of candy you have ever consumed. And I say that as a chocoholic. Like chocolate, this music is tasty, delightful, and sparks an infectious smile. Enjoy.

Album track list:

1. Goin’ Against Your Mind
2. Traces
3. Liar
4. Saturday
5. Wherever You Go
6. Conventional Wisdom
7. Gone
8. Mess With Time
9. Just a Habit
10. The Wait

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • http://midnitcafe.blogspot.com Mat Brewster

    With Saleski’s review and now this, I simply must listen to this band.

  • Scott Butki

    You’ll be glad you did

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    ha! they actually believe us!! har, har!!!

    uh, ok. seriosly now, this is a great band. and i’ll be reviewing this disc later in the week.

  • Scott Butki

    I’ll be curious to hear you think this compares to their older stuff.

  • Tina

    Did you say chocolate. Yes definitely the comparison to this band and chocolate is correct. Just listening to this band kinda puts in a happy mood.

  • Scott Butki

    Thanks. I am glad you like it.

  • Scott Butki

    There is a good review in the Washington Post about this new album today.