Built to Spill


Song Review by

"Reasons" is one of those songs that falls in that weird space between a sensitive ballad and a solid rocker, occupying that gray area where an introspective song can rock you ever so gently. In fact, this accurately describes many of the thoughtful tunes that comprise Built to Spill's fine second album, There's Nothing Wrong With Love. Over the slow groove of a straight three-chord progression of lucid electric guitar, drummer Andy Capps lays down a plodding shuffle awash in cymbal hiss. Brett Nelson's flowing bass follows the infectious vocal melody where singer Doug Martsch alternates lines in a kind of call and response with himself, his high earnest timbre acting as the overlaying answer to his smooth double-tracked rejoinders, the overall effect of which is hypnotically powerful. The vocals commence immediately upon the opening guitar chord, Martsch's layered harmony calling out, "Come through me," his direct single-track vocal responding, "You arrive and I'm on fire," alternating line for line through the verses, "Subdue me/To explode that you inspired/Second episode of all smiles/Let's make a movie/In the name of all great liars/Improvising Kaufman-style." Signaled by the heavy thud of low double tom drums, Marstch's vocals soar in elongated meter, squeezing the most out of the words, strained vocal chords singing, "They all are reasons to me/They are all reasons to be/They are all reasons to see/They are all reasons to me." An open sweep of chords widen in a short bridge section, then tightening up in a quick double-time groove before pausing for the final verse, Martsch kicking it off a cappella, asking, "How the hell do you do this?," the band answering with a hesitant crash on the first chord. The arrangement shifts drastically for a soft section, all instruments pulling back to a whisper. The time signature is cut in half as wisps of guitar feedback weep in the background before the track lurches into a final swipe at the last chorus.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
There's Nothing Wrong with Love 1994 Up 3:46