Keep It Like A Secret - Built To Spill
Keep It Like A Secret Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: This second major-label release from Doug Martsch and company (following 'Perfect From Now On') features shorter, cleaner-sounding songs than that previous release.
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. 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.
  3. 90
    Somehow these fragments instantly assemble themselves into a gorgeous whole, and there's not a piece you could imagine replacing.
  4. 80
    Built to Spill's combo of wry phrasing and explosive sound is more honed on this album than ever before.
  5. Built to Spill make music with a weird naive excitement that recalls R.E.M. at their fresh-out-of-Athens finest.
  6. Keep It Like a Secret is tightly wound clang, effectively understated in spots.
  7. Built To Spill sound as if they're trying too hard, and ultimately both The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev do this sort of thing with far more panache.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. yaright
    Jan 10, 2005
    one of the best records of the 90s in my opinion. sounds alot like their first great record theres nothing wrong with love. simply amazing!!
  2. ShafT
    Aug 1, 2003
    One of the best albums of all time, with Carry the Zero the perfect pop song, not to mention amazing gems like Time Trap, Else, Broken Chairs, the Plan. It's amazing and sad how much of the buying public and the mainstream media don't know about or appreciate Doug M.'s genius and greatness (guitarwork and words and sense of melody). Collapse
  3. BobDole
    Oct 19, 2005
    why the heck isn't the rating for this album higher? amazing.
  4. [Anonymous]
    Nov 20, 2005
    best cd and yet it didn't receive a high rating. o well i dont want them to go mainstream and sell out so its ok that ppl dont like them.
  5. 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! Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews