The Top 10 Built to Spill Songs: #2

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010, 6:13 pm by Ben Salmon

Today on Frequency, we’re counting down the top 10 Built to Spill songs leading up to the band’s show tonight in Bend. (More details on that show here.)

2. “Kicked It In The Sun” from “Perfect From Now On” (1997)

Almost universally revered, “Perfect From Now On” is one of the great guitar albums of the past 20 years, and its penultimate track, “Kicked It In The Sun,” is really two songs in one. The first half or so is a drifty, dreamy singsong, with Doug Martsch’s clarion voice floating atop shimmering six-string teardrops.

But things change at 4:30. Martsch sets his guitars to chug, and the song’s rhythm shifts on a dime from drowsy to driving, carrying “Kicked It In The Sun” to an understated crescendo. It also contains one of Martsch’s most memorable lyrics:

“Despite his expectations,
he turned out mediocre.
His master plan was so-so.
We’re special in other ways,
ways our mothers appreciate.”

Classic Doug, setting tales of self-loathing slackerhood against one of the most sparkling melodies of his career. The only thing that keeps “Kicked It In The Sun” out of the top spot on this list is the quick fade-out at the end. Two more minutes of building jams probably would’ve put it over the top.

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