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Live Import, Live
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. The Plan|
|2. Randy Described Eternity|
|3. Stop The Show|
|4. Virginia Reel Around The Fountain|
|5. Cortez The Killer|
|7. Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords|
|8. I Would Hurt A Fly|
|9. Broken Chairs|
After creating three of the most critically acclaimed albums of the '90s, alternative rock's Built To Spill kicks off the millennium by surprising its fans with a long-awaited live album. The band's fifth album, Live brings together Built to Spill's best performances recorded during touring in 1999 for Keep It Like A Secret. From New York City to Denver to Seattle, Built To Spill leader Doug Martsch proves why he is one of the most influential, independent-minded musicians in rock.
While additional guitarists Brett Nelson of Caustic Resin and Jim Roth of the Delusions pop up in a couple of tracks on Built to Spill's Live, the person most responsible for the extra-crispy sound is Phil Eck. He produced the Idaho-based trio's last two albums, the critically acclaimed Keep It Like a Secret and Perfect from Now On, and here he mans the soundboard to make sure the band's dynamic combination of the intimate and the explosive comes through just right. Live is one of the shinier sounding in-concert documents in recent memory, sounding (at times) more like a polished studio project rather than a collection of live cuts. This works in the group's favor, especially during psychedelic moments such as "I Would Hurt a Fly." Live won't stem the fanatical bootlegging and tape trading among devout fans, but it's a fine sonic souvenir of alt-rock's quirkiest power-pop-'n'-jam band. --Jason Josephes
Top Customer Reviews
The two 19 minute tracks are excellent. The meandering guitar on Cortez the Killer is pretty good (and that's the best Neil Young impression I've heard), but the real jewel is Broken Chairs, with its awesome buildups and creshendos.
The Plan, Randy..., Stop the Show, and Car are all significantly better live, as the guitar is allowed to stand out more. And Virginia Reel is amazing. The guitar on that one soars. Seriously, with that song I put on the headphones, close my eyes, and imagine soaring through the clouds.
So overall, this album is really special. If not for Singing Sores, which lacked the interesting guitar work found everywhere else, and Hurt a Fly, which was the exception by being better in the studio version, this would definitely be a perfect album.
If you love great guitar, you really should own this.
This cd, in contrast, is very nicely mixed; you get to hear all the playing. Martsch's singing is a little strained here and there on tracks (I winced at the very opening of The Plan), but is pretty good overall. There are nice arrangements of songs from recent studio albums, with space in them for his guitar improv work. The more complex and subtle songs from Perfect From Now On get boiled down to essentials - melodic lines and riffs - with guitar noise textures to fill things out in place of the many guest musicians who played on that fine cd. Cortez the Killer, and Broken Chairs, both really let the guys stretch out with loose playing and effects for a great wall of sound. These two songs, especially, are the kinds of things that just sound like mud in a live venue - it's great to be able to hear things more clearly.
Lots of folks rant and rave over Martsch's guitar god status, but I think they're off base a bit. He's not a technical wizard capable of intricately difficult parts like a Steve Morse or Vai. Rather, this is a guy with a good ear for sounds and textures, a good composer and arranger, who happens to use the guitar to make his music. His playing tends to strong melodies contrasted with broad washes of noise and texture; plus, he's got a good command of dynamics. I say this just to warn anyone who buys this cd hoping for more "clean" traditional technical playing - you might be disappointed.
My only regret with this cd is that there wasn't room for some of the stranger covers that Built To Spill have been known to do, like a Macy Gray song (!) or Ozzy's classic Mr. Crowley.
Most recent customer reviews
Doug Martsch is a true guitar hero. While he operates out of the mainstream, he is an accomplished and powerful player, and most "classic" rock fans would enjoy this if... Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Scott Fendley
Built to spill sounds a lot like Jane's Addiction, a bit too much, really. They are loud, they are screechy, they are grating. Read morePublished on July 30 2002 by The Orange Duke
Words cannot encapsule the fluidity, depth and finesse that characterise this album.
With two songs that stretch to near 20 minutes each (including a perfect reading of Neil... Read more
I was a little disappointed with the song selection of this album, as they didn't really choose my favorite songs. However, the covers are what make this album pretty darn cool. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2001 by Walter Chen
I personally have never seen them live, but this cd is amazing! If you just go by the music itself the cd is near perfect. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2001
This is one of the few real examples of a good live record. The energy, emotion and just plain badass riffs make this record a joy to have and own. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2000 by randy reynolds
I've always wanted to see BTS live, but they never play in my area. I knew they must be awesome live, and now I know. The whole cd is awesome. Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2000
to me, its sounds like 55% Radiohead, 15% neil young, and 30% pixies. no combination could be any more original. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2000 by J. T. Austen