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Perfect From Now On

by Built to Spill

Released January 28, 1997 via Warner Bros. Records

Reviewed February 8, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
I Would Hurt A Fly (71%), Velvet Waltz (47%), Kicked It in the Sun (35%)

Built to Spill’s third record, Perfect From Now On, sees Doug Martsch—frontman and sole permanent member of the group—turning indie rock conventions upside down, inside-out, and stretching them further than few ever had. The sweet spot lies within five to nine minutes, coming with a jam-like feel that gives a fun, almost carefree unpredictability. But Perfect From Now On isn’t the result of jam sessions; it is a meticulous effort that was spearheaded and refined by Martsch himself, who originally set out to record the album almost entirely by himself. That isn’t what we got, but it’s no less an indicator for Martsch’s precise vision. The extended track lengths allow for numerous progressions with overdubbed guitar tracks that create an immense world. Despite their density, the layered guitars never feel overbearing. The sum is greater than its parts, but those parts of Perfect From Now On have an unbelievable amount of merit on their own. As beauty shines through what should be a chaotic mess, Martsch’s raw vocals are an exploration in melancholic existentialism. His voice stares into the void of the unknown, a past full of regrets, and a life characterized by self-doubt. It’s an emotional undertaking, but it’s a necessary confrontation for those in search of inner comfort, and one that no record has captured as well as Built to Spill has. – Dominick (9.5/10)

Doug Martsch and his unconventional approach to guitar work and songwriting comes to its inevitable cross-section of perfection on Perfect From Now On, Built to Spill’s third studio album. Serving as a sort of pinnacle for Indie Rock—standing on the precipice of eternal greatness—Perfect From Now On has a lot to live up to. One of the finest guitar-based records ever released unto the music landscape is unironically called Perfect From Now On. Playing guitar for both melody and atmosphere—or in other words, for a sense of song and a sense of scope—is criminally underrated. There is far more to instruments and their reach than we would like to believe; using them in a space in which they're not usually adjusted breathes new life and color into their utility. Few can do it as effectively as Doug Martsch and the Built to Spill camp. – Peter (9.5/10)

Cam: 9.5/10 | Dominick: 9.5/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Jared: 9/10

Victoria: 8.7/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10 | Hadley: 8.5/10


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