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Keep It Like..

4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 23 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B00000HZFH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Plan
2. Center Of The Universe
3. Carry The Zero
4. Sidewalk
5. Bad Light
6. Time Trap
7. Else
8. You Were Right
9. Temporarily Blind
10. Broken Chairs

Product Description

Product Description

For the first time with a set rhythm section, critically acclaimed Built To Spill has created its most accomplished and focused album yet. Possessing a collective unorthodox vision, the band's second album, Keep It Like A Secret, builds on the success of 1997's Perfect From Now On. Invoking less analysis and more volume, Doug Martsch, one of today's most influential, independent-minded musicians, has crafted shorter, more direct songs that revel in a literate expressionism rarely heard in alt-rock and yet still rock with the same visceral impulses. Built To Spill may not be a secret much longer.

Most guitar heroes make their mark by doing something extravagant, like playing with their teeth or with their instrument in flames. Doug Martsch of Boise, Idaho's Built to Spill has acquired his guru status by simpler means--he combines his trippy, meandering guitar style with classic pop structures. Martsch also wins points for singing about small-scale moments as well as huge moral abstractions, from watching TV to contemplating the center of the universe. By subtly balancing the forest of dense guitars with Martsch's oddly prosaic yet uncannily beautiful singing, Built to Spill hold the rare achievement of making music that's rooted yet allows you to fly. "Time Trap" begins with a harplike guitar line floating above a heavy wave of distortion, drifts into a reggae pattern, and eventually rises to the high step of musical theater. The charming and funny "You Were Right" decides once and for all which of the classic-rock clichés ring true. "You were wrong when you said, 'Everything's going to be all right' / You were right when you said, 'We're all just bricks in the wall.'" It is a richly deserved analysis from alt rock's heroic Everyman. --Lois Maffeo

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Feb. 24 2004
Format: Audio CD
I'm a bit iffy about this album. I thought i found an indie band i can finally enjoy. BTS are obviously talented songwriters and musicians but there is still a few things that let this album down for me that i just can't ignore. First of all the production sucks. Like another reviewer said they sound too flat and trebly. I know they're into the whole indie lo-fi thing, but thier arrangements are more complex and guitar driven than your typical indie band. They would really benefit from a higher production budget. The other thing is what most indie bands suffer from. The vocals stink! Every song has the exact same flat whiney "slacker" vocals that Stephen Malkmus made so hip. Except this guy is much worse than SM. He sounds more like Michael Stipe after a lobotomy. But for some reason it's blasphemous for an indie band to actually try and sing. Other than that though, this is a very well crafted album. The guitar playing is suberp and nicely layered. The lyrics are clever and the band comes up with some amazing hooks. Such a shame they have to give in to their indie image.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw Built to Spill in concert for the first time last month. Needless to say, it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. What truly stuck me about Dug was his stage presence or lakc thereof. He would go through song after flawless song, the crowd would go nuts, and then he would nervously thank them as if he never saw their reaction coming. More than any other band, Built to Spill let their music speak for itself. Keep it Like a Secret is the brilliant climax of their damn near perfect three album run that started with there's nothing wrong with love. Honest lyrics, perfect pop melodies, blazing guitar solos, theyre all here. Everysong is a highlight and a potential single. Still, the glue that holds this together is the honesty and emotion of Dug. He once said that he resents being called a guitar hero. He said in an interview that there are probably ten-thousand people in this country that can play better than him. Even if he's too shy to admit it, we know it's true and if its not because of his technical prowess (which still is pretty impressive) than its the fact that he's one of the most inventive minds to ever pick up the instrument.
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Format: Audio CD
On the fringes of music you can find some really spectacular things. It's a journey that's often worth taking- trying to scope out artists doing something unique and passionate in the face of everything corporate and plain.
Here's one of those few examples of true gems that can only really be found with a little searching. Think Sonic Youth but cut the abstraction, and make the music poppier and more accesible, and you've got in in a nutshell. In all honesty, I'm completely surprised that Built to Spill hasn't recieved something greater than the (albiet big) cult following they've appreciated over the last 10 years or so.
This album leads off, uh, perfectly from "Perfect from Now On." Where that very incredible album in its own right had sprawling song scapes and drawn out guitar solos that lent it an epic feel, here you get a taste of the epic but also the pop perfection Built to Spill had acheived with its earlier releases.
It starts off with probably the most concise statement of their musical direction yet, "The Plan," which combines sprawling guitar squalor, Doug Martsch's chiming boyish voice, and interesting drum play all into the space of 3 1/2 minutes. The next, "Center of the Universe," is probably their most pop statement, with a loping beat and vocal refections on success. "Carry the Zero" follows with ringing guitar and almost dreampop stylings. It's the best 6 minutes on the album.
The album swings from one spectrum to another, with stomping rock in "Bad Light," fun pop meets hair metal in "Sidewalk," phillosophical ruminations on "Time Trap," gentle harmonies and longing on probably their most beautiful moment "Else.
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By A Customer on March 18 2003
Format: Audio CD
To call Martsch a "guitar god" is a bit excessive and seems to run counter to what BTS stands for. Sure this album has guitar solos, but they are interwoven into the song as they sit harmoniously on top of chords or behind vocals. There is a certain humility that is prevelant throughout BTS's music that is evidenced in this album. Guitar solos are nice but they aren't the focal point of the songs which are orchestrated quite well. Even the solo on Carry the Zero is reserved and languid as it bridges a lyrical theme that we are quite involved in.
All of BTS albums are like this, as well. They forfeit grandiosity for a complete aesthetic. The song in its totality is more important than solos, which makes their albums ironically grander when taken as a whole. This was evident in Perfect from Now On, but less so on Keep It As A Secret. Borrowing from Sonic Youth's rhythms the album is a fluid movement driven by chords and simple guitar work layered on top. This broad movement of guitars creats a great atmosphere and a absolutely fun listening experience.
Don't listen to me, but the album!
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