I know that I have said it before and I will say it again that I have always thought that Built to Spills
“Perfect from now on” is one of the top three albums created in capturing recording perfection. I rank it right
up there with Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and Pink Floyd’s “Darkside of the Moon” in its
beginning to end seamless theme, message, and artistic brilliance. Not many albums are able to do that and many will thumb
their noses at that studio produced perfection with questions of whether it can be reproduced in a live show. Any of you who
may have had that opportunity to see the above mentioned will agree that it can. So where are we now with the Built To Spills
first recording in 5 years “You in Reverse”? Well that perfection may be accomplished but on a completely different
spectrum of the words definition.
What we have is Built to Spill continually evolving and allowing for each of their talented members to orchestrate
a fresh and new sound that doesn’t stray from what is the style of Built to Spill. Each member now shines at different
times from track to track in conjuring up what is almost a feel of a live show. A show without boundaries and guidelines that
sweeps throughout your speakers with visualizations of them on stage playing off each others talents. For me seeing Built
to Spill is like the holy grail with many attempts made to see them only to have shows cancel, travel plans flubbed, ex girlfriends
not allowing you to stay at their apartment in NYC etc etc so I look forward to seeing these cats when the come here to Buffalo
NY. Being a die hard fan for 13 years and playing them on the air for 8 years supporting them and not being able to see them
is a prodding poke in my side that has only one remedy….seeing them live. The closest that I have come to that would
be this album and for that I am grateful.
With the addition of now full time guitarist Jim Roth their sound has become that full, thick, boasting depth
that was only before created with overdubs and layers. Each of their albums from the past have been musical journeys for the
listener and this album is no exception. There isn’t the set standard of how long a song should be or when verse should
change to chorus or when there should be a bridge. Instead its almost as if they are creating brilliance on stage, live, almost
giving the proverbial nod one musicians gives to another when its time to take the songs to the next level.
I wont comment on each track but I will go through a few of my fav’s to give you the flavor of what
it is that I am talking of.
The album fires right at you with track one “Going against your mind” and the first words aren’t
even spoken until 2 min’s in. So for me I knew that this was the start of something great already solidifying my earlier
thoughts that they are not going to hold back from any restraints. Four and a half min’s in you have a dreamy guitar
breakdown that leads into a wonderful low in the track before building it up progressively again . Its so well done in fact
that you can absolutely feel that build up in your body until the track explodes yet again. 8 min and 30sec later the roller
coaster ride abruptly ends, the passengers exit to the left, and you can breath again the ride is over…. Hot Damn!
The Album progresses quite nicely and then you get to another one of my favorite tracks, track 5 “Wherever
you Go” For the most part is down tempo song through the verse, which raises in what turns out to be a very slick chorus
with churning guitars following each sung line.
What could very well be the shining star on this album is track 6 “Conventional Wisdom” which
blows your mind with the guitar intro. It’s fast passes, fun, and lyrical genius. This track is full of energy and this
is “ feel” I was mentioning whereas everyone shines on this track and together create a truly wonderful audio
Those of you who remember Bret Netson you can hear him here on track 9 “Just a Habit” (among 2
other tracks). It is my understanding that Bret is back with the band and after this guitar performance on this track you
get the “Perfect from now on” feel again. For the most part this is a laid back track that speaks to you through
the greatly missed skillful guitar work or Netson.
The Album finishes with track 10’s “The Wait” which is gorgeous. The use of reverb and echo
effects creates an almost haunting effect to the chorus. A fantastic track each member seaming playing off each other then
that there proverbial nod, cut the light , the show is over and the crowd screams for an encore.
Even after 5 years since their last album “Ancient Melodies of the future” there was nothing lost
in that time other than those anxiously awaiting the next Built to Spill effort. I feel I speak for everyone in saying I hope
that it isn’t that long until the next one.
Oh and by the way those of you who are cheap and got this album for free I suggest that you help to support
your favorite musicians and get in line or order it now. Shit I had the first tickets here for when the come to Buffalo so
you can bet that I was first in line to order my copy of the album from Tower so I can get the autographs. I suggest you all
do the same. Brilliance in music can be too far and few at times it’s the great ones like Built to Spill that need people
like us to support what is a guiding light in all that is possible.