Built to Spill
You in Reverse


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 1st, 2008 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not a bad album, but an ultimately disappointing one as some great ideas contained within most tracks are not fully capitalized on.

When Built To Spill condensed the lengthy songs from their critically acclaimed 1997 album 'Perfect From Now On' into bite-size portions for the follow-up 'Keep It Like A Secret', it resulted in close to Indie-Rock perfection. An album that was still undoubtedly ingrained in its genre due to it's guitar-work and intelligent song structures, yet could appeal more to the mainstream with it's borderline poppiness and accessibility.

The next step was fairly predictable and with their 5th album 'Ancient Melodies of the Future' the band attempted to bring the 2 components (read: lengths) of the 2 albums together to please everybody. The problem with that theory was that 'Keep It Like A Secret' pretty much pleased everybody anyway, so there really was no need to tinker with the process all that much. With their 6th album 'You In Reverse', Built To Spill return after a 5 year absence and give it a another go. While the results are a little better this time around, it is still clearly not up to their best form.

While it is actually in the better half of the tracks contained on this album, the near 9 minute opener 'Goin Against Your Mind' shows some of the band's weaknesses. Traveling along for 2 minutes before Doug Martsch's vocals finally kick in, this pleasingly up-tempo track almost aims at the mainstream with its chorus, but it just doesn't quite come off. And while there are riffs aplenty in the instrumental breakdown, it simply drags out for too long ultimately.

There is a nice duo of songs that follow though, as 'Traces' is a real grower which eventually is judged my album highlight. It is a smooth mid-tempo track that is packed with melody, yet mixes in all kinds of guitar techniques and very good drumming. This all results in an especially satisfying song. Follow-up 'Liar' is not too dissimilar, but instead concentrates its hooks on the vocal harmonies to good effect.

Track 6 'Conventional Wisdom' could well be the barometer of this album as it is in parts the best song here, but also the most disappointing in a way. The first half of its 6+ minute duration is absolutely fantastic as it shows that Built To Spill can rock just as raucously as a hard rock band, yet still add in their trademark indie-rock melodies and intelligence. Yet, the latter half of the track is basically an extended jamming session that does it no favors and in no way strengthens the song.

Elsewhere, there are some neat melodies and impressive guitar-playing, but it is all a little too haphazard for my liking. Longtime fans are sure to be impressed by 'Mess With Time' and closer 'The Wait', but neither are complete in my books and end up being anything too far above average.

This isn't a bad album, but Built To Spill may have unfortunately become the victim of their own quality following their 2 best albums. They have simply shown that they are capable of better. There isn't enough that stands out here and their lack of capitalizing on great ideas contained within some tracks is ultimately disappointing.

Recommended Tracks: Traces, Conventional Wisdom & Liar.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
flamethisuser
September 22nd 2008


395 Comments


seems like someone should have commented on this by now. oh well

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha. I'm not sure you even did.

From memory, there were some comments, but they were lost in the infamous database crash of May 2008. This was the repost of the review.



Athom
Emeritus
October 3rd 2008


17241 Comments


Agree 100% with that last paragraph.

Granfalloon
October 3rd 2008


176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, they set some pretty high standards, but this album has a couple good tracks, mainly Liar and Goin' Against... but overall pretty dismal compared to earlier works.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the agreement guys.

I actually wonder what someone who had not had an opportunity to hear Built To Spill's earlier & better albums before hearing this, would think of 'You In Reverse'...

marksellsuswallets
October 4th 2008


4845 Comments


Well as a person that fits the above description, I really liked this album a lot when I first heard it...when I went back and listened to their older stuff this became much less spectacular though...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ Exactly as I had thought. I am usually fine with reviewing albums in isolation (as opposed to comparing against the rest of the artist's discography), but for some reason it was trickier to do in this instance.

Thanks for the confirmation Brent.

Athom
Emeritus
October 4th 2008


17241 Comments


If I held this to the same standard as Perfect from Now On or Keep It Like A Secret I'd never be able to enjoy this for what it is.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008


22453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good point RedSkyForMiles. And they're not the only band that have had later releases a little under-rated because of the greatness they had performed earlier in their careers.

skeames1214
October 14th 2013


3168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is weird for me. The best songs are 5's, the worst are pretty mediocre.

ExcentrifugalForz
May 16th 2014


2124 Comments


Band is way too good.

Seeing again sunday night.

This cd has some of their best work.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

does it

ExcentrifugalForz
May 16th 2014


2124 Comments


No doubt.

5 classic songs

and

Gone is my favorite track they've ever done.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

never got into this tbh im digging ultimate alternative hard right now though

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'll give this another listen soon

ExcentrifugalForz
May 16th 2014


2124 Comments


haha best album cover

good record

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

idk it seems better than good

ExcentrifugalForz
May 16th 2014


2124 Comments


haven't jammed it in awhile

been stuck on the two most recent

hopefully a new ones on the way

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 16th 2014


14853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea dude these guys and modest mouse need to quit hiding





skeames1214
May 17th 2014


3168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eh. based on the new mm tracks that isaac's been performing live they can stay in hiding. they gave us a nice 15 year run.



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