"Anti-pop melodies. 6+ minute epics. Borderline violent transformations in mid-song that come out of nowhere. Sounds dubious, right?Well, if you want to be grabbed into a song on first listen by simple pop vocal lines and clearly defined guitar riffs, this won't be for you. If you're looking for a little substance, this is definitely for you. Upon subsequent listenings, you will hear and appreciate the double helix-like guitar riffs, interweaving into each other and away from each other, the balance between the ethereal tenor voice of Doug and the throbbing guitars, you will hear it what it is: Music, Rock Music, done about as well as it can possibly be done. Innovative, challenging, complex. Hurt a Fly is probably the most known song on the album, as it made rounds on college rock stations across the nation. The use of strings to back up Doug's speed riff harmonies at the end of the song is one of the most exciting pieces I've heard in rock. Stop the Show is probably my second favorite song, one that grows on you once the overlapping guitars sink in. Untrustable, which ends the album, is hypnotic and rewarding, an example of the album as a whole. This is one of those albums that you'll be listening to for years...if you are patient."
Major label debut??
Rob Damm | 07/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What other artist, after signing a major label deal toward which he had presumably worked his whole life ,would record THIS album? Who else but Doug (Dug) Martsch? I know Built to Spill is a band, but I've always seen Dug as a kind of Brian Wilson character. That said, this album is like his "Pet Sounds". The genius of this band is the ability to craft a 3-minute hook-laden pop song, dream up some of the most inventive and wildly original arrangements, play those intricate arrangements using only basic rock instrumentation, and then stretch that song out to its logical or illogical conclusions. 8-minute songs are usually boring. These 8-minute songs aren't. There are vey few bands that manage to sound original or distinctive with just a bass-guitar-drums line-up. Sure, BTS add the occasional strings or keyboards, but at its core, it's a guitar-rock band. Instead of using an orchestra, theremin, movie projectors, vibes, etc. a la Flaming Lips, Dug uses his guitar to create the sounds, tones, and moods needed for the arrangements. When you hear Dug referred to as a "guitar god", don't fear. You are not in for mechanical, "technical" or "fast" playing. Dug's genius is his ability to use the guitar as his own private orchestra, and to use those sounds and textures in service of the songs. He has an utterly distinctive tone, but also is able to shape-change into whatever kind of player the songs calls for. He's a guitar chameleon, and there aren't many guitarists you can say that about. He can muster everything from heartbreakingly lyrical passages to storming walls of sound and stop at all points between. Just listen to the first track "Randy Described Eternity". Much like the best Flaming Lips work, it uses odd-ball lyrics juxtaposed with transcendent music and ultimately builds to an emotional climax that defies logic or explanation. Just like you might wonder, whilst listening to "Clouds Taste Metallic": 'How can a song about a giraffe have an emotional effect on me?', you'll find yourself puzzled at how a song that begins with a description of a huge shimmering sphere can raise goosebumps in your heart. To me, that perfectly encapsulates the perfect paradox that is Built to Spill, The Flaming Lips, and great music in general: The existence of both the ridiculous and sublime in the same place at the same time."
Laymans guide to BTS
J A W | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've landed here because you know BTS well, then skip this review. If, on the other hand, you're here because an Amazon link piqued your interest, then let me help you out. I landed here a while back because I bought the Flaming Lips "The Soft Bulletin". I have since listened to all the BTS records. Choosing where to start (and stop) in my mind is easy. Perfect is the album to buy - it is far and away the best this band has ever created and it is a minor late 90s masterpiece, certainly on par with the Soft Bulletin. Each of the songs on Perfect takes you on a mini musical journey, starting with one melody and transitioning to one or more others over the course of 5-8 minutes. The sound is intense and epic. Their other albums are nowhere near as accomplished. Like the Lips, BTS mined the short, alternative (i.e., loose, twangy, Pavement-like) sound of early 90s rock on earlier albums, like There's Nothing Wrong, and again on Keep It Like A Secret and the new Ancient Melodies. No doubt about it, Carry the Zero, The Weather, In the Morning, Reasons and Big Dipper are great songs, but compared to I Would Hurt or Out of Site off Perfect, they pale. Highly recommended."
The best album by the best american rock band around...
brent besch | lincoln, nebraska | 03/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you asked most fans of built to spill what their favorite album was by them, it would most likely be a very close race between "there's nothing wrong with love", "keep it like a secret", and this album, "perfect from now on". personally though, i have to lean towards this one, which also happened to be my introduction to the great band that is built to spill...i still remember the day i purchased this album. i went looking for it on the basis of one song, "i would hurt a fly". since i had only heard that one song i went all around the city of omaha trying to find it used for a cheap price, to no avail. in the last record store i approached before i started my drive home, i decided to take my chances and shell out nearly ... bucks to get it new...so i popped it in as soon as me and my friend got into my car. about 30 seconds into "randy described eternity" i got bored and said "i want to listen to the song i downloaded"...so i skipped ahead to "i would hurt a fly", and listened to it, thinking "wow, what a great tune". i then let the cd run into the next song...and again got bored after no more than a minute. i proceeded to do the same thing with the rest of the album, until i took the cd out in frustration thinking "what a waste of ... dollars..." and put in some other album i purchased that day (which i don't remember anymore).what a foolish thing to do. about two weeks later while sitting at home, i pulled this disc out, still basically unplayed except for "i would hurt a fly". i finally sat there and listened to the whole thing, and after it was over i thought "this isn't nearly as bad as i first thought". days later i would be humming a song to myself and realize it was a different song on this album. i would go back home and listen, thinking "hey, this is a great tune too". this happened with a different song every few days.i began listening to the album even more, and began liking it more and more with every listen. i began listening to it religiously. i realized it was one of the best albums i had bought in months. then i realized it was one of the best i've bought in my lifetime. i then bought all the other releases by built to spill and was stunned with each one. i now call them the best american rock band around without regret.if you own any other built to spill releases, this is a must buy. if you don't, "keep it like a secret" or "there's nothing wrong with love" might be a better starting point...but this would not be a mistake as long as you have patience. getting into this album was one of the most rewarding musical experiences of my lifetime."
Harlan James | Atlanta, Ga | 09/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1997's Perfect From Now On, Built to Spill's 3rd full album, marks a major departure from their previous album "There's Nothing Wrong with Love". Both albums are deeply emotional; however, if "Nothing Wrong" is a journal entry after a successful first date, full of hope and enthusiasm, then "Perfect From Now On" is that same journal 9 months later, crumpled up, slightly burned, and left dejected in the trash. Songs like "I Would Hurt A Fly" and "Untrustable/Part 2 (About Someone Else)" speak of betrayal and heartbreak, lost love and identity. The most significant differences between this album and "Theres Nothings Wrong With Love" are structures of the songs. "Perfect From Now On" contains eight lengthy tracks that flow in and out of various melodies, conveying the shattered emotional state of the songwriter whose thoughts are both scattered and focused, a musical expression of anger and loss. And one hell of a listen on top of it."