You in Reverse

You in Reverse

4.0 1
by Built to Spill
     
 

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Given that it took Built to Spill the better part of five years to get You in Reverse into gear, it's something of a surprise -- and a welcome one -- that Doug Martsch and company have gotten back to basics. The great-wall-of-sound approach that overcomplicated stretches of 2001's Ancient Melodies of the Future

Overview

Given that it took Built to Spill the better part of five years to get You in Reverse into gear, it's something of a surprise -- and a welcome one -- that Doug Martsch and company have gotten back to basics. The great-wall-of-sound approach that overcomplicated stretches of 2001's Ancient Melodies of the Future has been pared back, allowing the focus to rest on Martsch's affably wobbly, Neil Young-inspired guitar work, particularly on the quietly insistent "Gone." Most of the disc moves along at a measured pace, one that suggests long evenings spent under the stars, pondering matters both great and small. Martsch drapes those musings in some nicely burnished mufti here, recalling the Band on the sweetly loping "The Wait" and lending a traveling troubadour tenor to "Liar." Devotees of Martsch's barely controlled soloing style will be happy to hear that he's just as in touch with his inner mad soundscaper as ever -- most notably on "Mess with Time," a wildly undulating piece of psychedelia that suggests a Spanish sojourn, what with its flamenco-flecked riffing and Dalí-damaged perspective. BTS are certainly capable of picking up the tempo when need be, as evidenced by the insistently trebly "Conventional Wisdom" -- probably the closest thing the trio come to their mid-'90s vibe -- but for the most part, You in Reverse channels the spirit of a group that's learned to stop and smell the roses, then find a way to get drunk on the nectar.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Built to Spill haven't released an album for five years, and the time off seems to have rejuvenated the band -- You in Reverse is full of fire and energy. The bandmembers play with a thrilling blend of abandon and sensitivity on this mix of accessible guitar rockers, twisting and turning guitar workouts, and somber balladry with enough intelligence and emotion to put groups half their age to shame (and by the looks of the gray in their beards, they are getting up there). Many of the songs on You in Reverse are midtempo ballads, some quiet and autumnal ("Traces"), most trippy and bursting with wild and dramatic guitar solos ("The Wait," "Gone"). All of them are quite heart-rending, with Doug Martsch's melancholy everyman vocals and the emotion (in his voice but especially in the guitars) flowing like tears from the speakers. Most of the tracks also feature spiraling guitar solos and climaxes that conjure up images of the bandmembers on-stage at an outdoor stadium jamming their beards off as the crowd goes bananas. These songs are impressive, but the album really shines on the tracks that boost the tempo. "Conventional Wisdom" is a raging rocker that rides an inspired guitar melody into alt-rock guitar nirvana, sounding like the best tune Dinosaur Jr. never wrote (although those slackers never would have thrown a chamber music-inspired instrumental bridge into the middle of a song before freaking out with an epic solo). "Mess with Time" charges ahead like an angry rhino, kicking up guitar sparks and sounding a lot like classic Wipers in the process. Best of all is the amazing "Goin' Against Your Mind," an almost nine-minute guitar explosion that kicks off the album in breathtaking style. By the time it's through playing, you'll be hard-pressed to imagine a way the rest of the album could stand up to its intensity and drama. That the record does manage to acquit itself superbly is quite an accomplishment. Though there are no great surprises on You in Reverse, it is one of Built to Spill's strongest efforts, and anyone who has followed their career knows that this is high praise indeed.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/19/2007
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624998976
catalogNumber:
49363
Rank:
36312

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Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Built to Spill   Primary Artist
Scott Plouf   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Doug Martsch   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Brett Netson   Guitar
Brett Nelson   Guitar,Bass Guitar,Guest Appearance,Group Member
Sam Coomes   Organ,Guest Appearance
Steven Wray Lobdell   Various,Guest Appearance
Jim Roth   Guitar,Group Member

Technical Credits

Built to Spill   Composer,Audio Production
Steven Wray Lobdell   Engineer
Mike Scheer   Artwork
Jacob Hall   Engineer

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Theres some great lead guitar work on this record but what its truly lacking is a standout song. Even ancient melodies of the future has the weather, in your mind,and fly around my pretty little miss. This record isnt up to par with what we are used to geting from this band. The vocals and songwriting seem weak and overly processed with effects. It seems like a pretty one dimensional record. The lead guitar work is the only thing that makes this record worth listening to.