Built to Spill did a rare thing in using the opportunity of a major label début to make their most interesting album. Early promise for catchy melodies was shown on their previous work, but Perfect From Now On was beautiful in its ability to be epic without attempting to be overly anthemic, repetitive and clichéd.
Of the eight tracks, all are generous in melodic variation and although most clock in at well over 6 minutes, only the very longest track, 'Velvet Waltz', strains towards the end. Possibly the highlight within the album is 'I Would Hurt a Fly' although immediately following it is 'Stop the Show', which builts beautifully for a few minutes before vocals - almost certainly Doug Marsch's vocals are the weakest point of Built to Spill - kick in. It's climax is a short and dramatic riff towards the end which is repeated only a couple of times, but the brilliance of the guitar melody on offer here is exemplified by the fact that, personally speaking, I would happily listen to this for much, much longer. But Marsch knows, he has plenty more fantastic guitar riffs to offer.
Inevitably, Built to Spill's later albums didn't match this, even though the subsequent 'Keep It Like a Secret' is excellent, and perhaps 'Perfect From Now On' only rang true from the beginning to the end of this album. Still, that was accomplishment enough.