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Keep It Like a Secret

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Album Review

Perhaps realizing that their time on a major label was likely limited, Built to Spill made a gutsy choice for Keep It Like a Secret, their second album for Warner Brothers. They embraced the sounds of a big studio and focused their sound without sacrificing their fractured indie rock aesthetic. In a sense, this is Built to Spill's pop album: every song is direct and clean, without the long, cerebral jamming that characterized their earlier albums. That's not to say that the album is compromised — the songwriting may be streamlined, but Doug Martsch now packs all of his twists, turns, and detours into dense, three-minute blasts. This approach, combined with the shiny sonic textures, makes Keep It Like a Secret the most immediate and, yes, accessible Built to Spill record, but they steadfastly open their music up and breathe the way, say, Pavement did on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or Brighten the Corners. Built to Spill still demand that listener meet them on their own terms — these just happen to be the easiest terms to understand in their catalog.

Customer Reviews

perfect album

Not a bad song in the lot, though Carry the Zero, Else and Broken Chairs are particularly awesome. Strong, driven, and yet sweet melodies. Doug M.'s vocals are a perfect complement to the slightly distorted guitar. I think this is my favorite Built to Spill album, it's really stood up over the (gasp!) last 10 years.

What the hell?????

I'm not really sure how it's possible that I'm the first to review this incredible album.......It's amazing just buy it you won't be sorry. I saw this at Borders and I had absolutely no idea who the band was and I just picked it up because it was like $4.99 and I thought I'd try it out. This hardly ever happens that I like a CD the first time I hear it but I did with Keep It Like A Secret. My favorite tracks: "Else", "Time Trap", and "Carry the Zero"


Koan RTD loves built to spill...a lot


Formed: 1992 in Boise, ID

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Built to Spill were one of the most popular indie rock acts of the '90s, finding the middle ground between postmodern, Pavement-style pop and the loose, spacious jamming of Neil Young. From the outset, the band was a vehicle for singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug Martsch, who revived the concept of the indie guitar hero just as Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis -- another important influence -- was beginning to fade from the limelight. On record, Martsch the arranger crafted intricate, artfully knotted tangles...
Full Bio
Keep It Like a Secret, Built to Spill
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Customer Ratings