Built to Spill, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 08.03.12 in Reviews
A declaration of Doug Martsch’s awesome songwriting and guitar-playing powers

The second album by Doug Martsch’s long-running band is a declaration of his awesome powers as a songwriter and guitarist. Martsch makes it clear how ambitious he is — his declaration in “Car” that “I wanna see movies of my dreams” is hardly an exaggeration — but there’s also a bracing emotional vulnerability and specificity to his lyrics, especially coming from his high, weedy voice. (“Big Dipper” includes the devastating line “He thought an Albertson’s stir-fry dinner would make his apartment a home.”) The brief hidden track at the end, a string of deliberately awful variations on Built to Spill’s sound, is pretty hilarious, but it also illustrates how carefully Martsch has shaped the rest of the album. There’s Nothing Wrong With Love is the work of an artist who gets to treat Boise, Idaho, as a rock capital because he can outplay anyone: The sheer variety of instrumental textures Martsch crams into these songs’ riffs and fills and raw solos is amazing on its own.