Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy

For the past week or so I’ve been catching up with the new Built To Spill album There Is No Enemy, and I have to say I’ve been enjoying it a lot. I don’t mean that to sound like I’m surprised, it’s just that besides “Conventional Wisdom” I didn’t find much to enjoy on 2006’s You In Reverse. I’m not sure yet if the new album is the equivalent of their mid-to-late 90s run of classics, as some are suggesting (pretty sure it‘s not), but it’s certainly better than You In Reverse and probably better than Ancient Melodies Of The Future from 2001. Which would mean it's the best thing they've done in ten years, since Keep It Like A Secret, which has long been my personal favorite. There Is No Enemy begins and ends with songs that recall their classics - the driving “Aisle 13” could be one of their vintage singles, and the melodic, country-tinged “Hindsight” is another obvious high point. Later, “Planting Seeds”, “Things Fall Apart”, and the majestic “Tomorrow” bring the album to a memorable close. In between are a bunch of mid-tempo, 4-6 minute jams that fans of the band will no doubt love. In a year where 40-somethings like Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr., and The Flaming Lips have all released very good-to-great albums, it’s nice to see Built To Spill helping to remind the kiddies how it‘s done. Check them out from two weeks ago on Letterman playing “Oh Yeah”:


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