"In the Morning" is the bright and sunny opener to Built to Spill's excellent sophomore effort, There's Nothing Wrong With Love. A short uplifting burst of jangle-powered pop running just over two and a half minutes sets the tone for this inspired group of indie rock gems, fusing jittery rhythmic guitar and soaring leads with compelling, heartfelt melodies, all delivered with an impassioned directness.
The track sustains a light, feel-good attitude from the get go, starting off with some hesitant noodling before breaking into a jubilant three-chord progression. Drummer Andy Capps pushes Dave Martsch's clean guitar with a swishing open high-hat washing over a mid-tempo groove while bassist Brett Nelson lays low, contributing a subtle descending bass line to the opening verse. Martsch's voice shares some resemblance to the high-pitched emoting of Mac McCaughan from the seminal indie rock outfit Superchunk as he tries to shake a waking grogginess, shouting, "In the morning/Feeling half-right/If it was more than just one day/I'd feel alright." Nelson's bass comes flying in to bolster the second half of the verse, which also effectively serves as a sort of bridge leading to the chorus. Martsch's words double in meter, his voice smoothed by a double-tracked recording as he sings, "Today is flat beneath the weight of next day, next day, next day…." The arrangement shifts to a chorus, with bass notes rising up alongside an overdubbed high-pitched jangle of guitar, Martsch crooning, "In the morning/Feeling half-right/Ignore my condition/Just an isolated incident." Martsch adds a soaring solo of heavily layered notes saturated with distortion set against quivering rhythmic guitar between the song's two choruses. The arrangement downshifts to a more anthemic time signature for the closing minute of the song, a section flatly referred to in the liner notes as being "stolen from a Caustic Resin song by Brett Netson." As heavier distorted guitars add weight to this building vamp, Capps fills the sound with a wash of cymbals and frequent drum fills, Nelson stretching out on the bass, while Martsch waxes poetic, finishing with the words "When my mind's uncertain my body decides/What it will do to get through the hell of the night/As I trip on the ocean that leads through your eyes/Well, my eyes can't wait 'til they finally see through you," then finishing the track abruptly screaming, "When I get this feeling like I'm gonna start I have to stop!"