Keep It Like A Secret - Built To Spill

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. The last album's title ['Perfect From Now On'] was a promise; this one makes good on it.
  2. 100
    Beautiful pop symphonies that hit like a Louisville Slugger.
  3. Recalls last year's fine Halo Benders release, The Rebels Not In, the album Martsch recorded with Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson and former Spinanes and current Built to Spill drummer Scott Plouf. And that's not a bad thing at all.
  4. In a sense, this is Built to Spill's pop album: every song is direct and clean, without the long, cerebral jamming that characterized their earlier albums.
  5. 90
    Somehow these fragments instantly assemble themselves into a gorgeous whole, and there's not a piece you could imagine replacing.
  6. Perhaps the secret they're trying to keep here is that Built To Spill quite frankly write some of the most original, interesting and catchy pop songs you'll ever hear.
  7. Regardless of how much noodling, compromising or second guessing this trio does, Martsch and crew remain the best band America is not listening to.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. j30
    Aug 19, 2013
    It is nice to know good rock music was being made during a time of laughably bad, rap/rock music (Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, etc). Built To Spill's 1999 gem "Keep It Like A Secret" is an essential indie rock album and one of the best rock albums to come out that year. Full Review »
  2. Dave
    Feb 7, 2007
    Truly an outstanding, fully realized, elegant recording. Perhaps the best ever "indie-pop-rock" album. The lower meta score is a bit perplexing. I notice that White Stripes' Elephant and TV's Return to Cookie Mountain have very high scores; I have and enjoy both of those records and do not really understand why this BTS record was not as widely acclaimed. Perhaps critics prefer the edgy punk-metal sound of Elephant or the unusual new sound of Cookie Mountain. Keep It Like A Secret is no less creative, complex, brilliant and moving than those two records, or anything else out there for that matter. Highly recommended! Full Review »
  3. jimh
    Sep 7, 2006
    The low rating of this album is proof of how jaded and cynical critics can be. This is one of the most quintessential rock albums of the 90's.