Search - Built to Spill :: Ancient Melodies of the Future

Ancient Melodies of the Future
Built to Spill
Ancient Melodies of the Future
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

With a band like Built to Spill, the key to success is to chart a course through the future that mirrors the past. Built to Spill may be on a major label, but its linchpin, front man Doug Martsch, still writes all song par...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Built to Spill
Title: Ancient Melodies of the Future
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Release Date: 7/10/2001
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 093624795421, 936247954212

With a band like Built to Spill, the key to success is to chart a course through the future that mirrors the past. Built to Spill may be on a major label, but its linchpin, front man Doug Martsch, still writes all song parts himself and has a large hand in every album's production from start to finish. Martsch assembles the players--drummer Scott Plouf and bassist Brett Nelson--to take their parts in the studio and on tour, but he still holds all the musical cards. As a result, the Boise, Idaho-based trio sounds pretty much the same on Ancient Melodies of the Future as it did on 1997's Perfect from Now On and 1999's Keep It Like a Secret. That said, though, why change a winning formula? Martsch's mix of wry humor, Neil Young-influenced rock, and soaring indie-pop ballads has garnered him a Guided by Voices-like cult following that this album is in no danger of turning away. "In Your Mind" is the standout track, with Martsch's fitting assertion that "No one can tell me to listen / No one can tell me what's right / because nobody has my permission / and no one can see in your mind." The other tracks are tried and true BTS fare, bending guitar effects around straight-ahead rock ("Trimmed and Burning") or layering warm melodies atop Martsch's elliptical lyrics. Indie-rock fans looking for something wildly divergent or refreshingly different won't find either on Ancient Melodies, but those looking for a linear extension of BTS's past works should find a happy resistance to change in this latest release. --Jennifer Maerz

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Member CD Reviews

Mike M. from SEATTLE, WA
Reviewed on 2/8/2007...
Sweet pop from a guy with a beard.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Another excellent album
sceldred | 07/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In truth, my rating would have been more like 4.5. This album is very, very good, but I was expecting even more from Built to Spill. The songs express a sort of nostalgia for BTS's days as a more lo-fi, harsher sounding group. The fabulous studio production is still there, but some of the songs, especially the opener, "Strange", sound like they might fit well on earlier albums, like There's Nothing Wrong with Love. However, every song on this CD is a pretty good and interesting listen. Like other BTS CDs, you need to give the nuances of Doug Martsch's guitar playing time to sink in. I listened to it about 5 times today, and I've liked it more every time, so maybe if I was writing the review in a week, it would be a full 5 stars. Either way, Ancient Melodies of the Future is an appropriate name because of some of these songs' resemblence to BTS's earlier work, as well as the fact that there are none of the sprawling, swirling epics that composed Perfect from Now On. The musicianship here is excellent as always, and in typical BTS fashion, there is a lot happening in every song to keep your ears busy. It may not be QUITE at the same level as Keep It Like a Secret or Perfect From Now On in my opinion, but it is still excellent stuff. Definitely one of my favorites of 2001."
New bts...
(3 out of 5 stars)

"the new bts is, i think, the "least good" of all their cds. i say "least good" not to be evasive or awkward, but simply to grant that while i don't think it's bts' best effort, it is still a good record, better than most music out there. still, if i hadn't heard bts before, this probably would not make me a rabid fan. but i guess in order to make a statement like that, i have to establish a frame of reference. up to this point, i think the two best records (i won't say which is better because they are so different) have been there's nothing wrong with love and perfect from now on. the least-good being ultimate alternative wavers. the problem with this album is that it is remarkably unremarkable. there's almost nothing special about this album. songwise, it's closer to perfect from now on than others, as all the songs are slow and melodic. but it lacks the booming guitar and musical variations that made pfno such a brialliant record. as another review said earlier, you know what the song will sound like within thirty seconds. the album's highlights, i think, are "alarmed," "trimmed and burning," "you are" and "the weather." the weather is an a-typical bts song, a more straightforward love song than they've done since the normal years. it's a beautiful song, and really savest the record from mediocrity. mostly, this album is good, but it tastes watered down, like there's something missing, something diluted about the sound. certainly you can sense what is behind it, and built to spill is still a great band. so i appreciate it because it's bts and even average bts is still really good. i think their own line from the album sums it up: "as long as it's talking with you, talk of the weather will do.""