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Keep It Like A Secret

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (940 ratings)
Keep It Like A Secret album cover
The Plan
Center Of The Universe
Carry The Zero
Bad Light
Time Trap
You Were Right
Temporarily Blind
Broken Chairs
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 46:56

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Wondering Sound

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Jayson Greene

Senior Editor

Jayson Greene is Senior Editor at Wondering Sound and a contributing editor and columnist at Pitchfork. His writing has also appeared in GQ, the Village Voice,

The poppy followup to Perfect still has the magic
1999 | Label: Warner Bros.

Imagine you fronted an indie rock band with a modest but loyal following. Then imagine, after years of cozy cult-favorite status, you made a scary, vertiginous leap to a major label, and worked harder on that album than you had on anything before in your life. It almost broke you, and you got more attention for it than anything you'd done before. Now you have to follow it up, and the pressure to meet expectations… read more »

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2nd best effort


This is one of my favorite records of ALL TIME, but just a close second behind Perfect From Now On (which you will get if you don't have it, or die). This get's poppier & a little harder rockin. It's just fantastic start to finish. One I never get tired of.

user avatar

Can't Go Wrong


While missing There Is Nothing Wrong With Love, all of these are gems. For newbies, start with this album but listen to it in its entirety. If looking for single downloads, go Hindsight, Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss, Goin Against Your Mind and the obvious Car. For a great song, check The Weather.

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Poppy surface obfuscates the pith


Independent of being a poppier sounding album than their previous body of work, it's still prettier and more thoughtful than pop. Listen to the song "Else" with an ear on the bass line and try to stop your head from nodding along.

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Personal Fave BTS


I know a lot of people swear by Perfect From Now On, but for my money, Keep It Like a Secret is where it's at. Martsch's guitar heroics are showcased like never before. A lot less meandering in the songs, and a lot more rocking. Gimme a great guitar riff, and I'm satisfied (that's what she said), well, Martsch doesn't disappoint with huge, soaring guitar melodies and solos. Half the songs on here will have you out of your seat, running out the door, and ready to take on the entire world.

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A near perfect pop album


I love most of BTS's albums, but if I had to pick only one to listen to this would be it. It's a great listen from beginning to end. Track #8 is a hidden gem, exploring many rock cliches of the past.

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They Say All Music Guide

Perhaps realizing that their time on a major label was likely limited, Built to Spill made a gutsy choice for Keep It Like a Secret, their second album for Warner Brothers. They embraced the sounds of a big studio and focused their sound without sacrificing their fractured indie rock aesthetic. 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. That’s not to say that the album is compromised — the songwriting may be streamlined, but Doug Martsch now packs all of his twists, turns, and detours into dense, three-minute blasts. This approach, combined with the shiny sonic textures, makes Keep It Like a Secret the most immediate and, yes, accessible Built to Spill record, but they steadfastly open their music up and breathe the way, say, Pavement did on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or Brighten the Corners. Built to Spill still demand that listener meet them on their own terms — these just happen to be the easiest terms to understand in their catalog. – Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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