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Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret

By annie holub
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 11, 1999
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Built to Spill

Keep it Like a Secret

(Warner Brothers)

Built to Spill's second major label release, and their fifth full length, Keep it Like A Secret, is probably their most uninteresting album to date. There's Nothing Wrong With Love, their 1994 release on Up, was drastically different from The Normal Years or Ultimate Alternative Wavers, and Perfect From Now On, their 1997 major label debut, was drastically different from everything else. Basically, every Built To Spill album introduced some new form of pop innovation. But that was mostly due to the fact that the band's lineup changed from album to album - while it was interesting, it was chaotic and out of focus. The songs, while still sounding like Built to Spill, could be easily defined by which album they came from. Now, with Keep it Like a Secret, the lineup has solidified. Because of that, Keep it Like a Secret sounds like it could easily be an extension of Perfect From Now On. It doesn't reinvent the band.

But something must be clarified: The album isn't entirely bad. "Center of the Universe" is probably the best song on the album. After that, the album takes off, with "Carry the Zero," "Else" and "Sidewalk" in head-to-head competition for second-best songs on the album. But then it tapers toward mediocrity with "You Were Right," making Keep it Like a Secret hardly as good as Perfect From Now On.

- annie holub