I am compelled to write my first review here because I have such strong feelings about this CD. This is a near perfect album. I am certainly not a music reviewer, and have a hard time explaining exactly why this album remains one of my favorites after first hearing it in 94.
Some random thoughts, in no sensible order...
I'm not particularly concerned with a band's guitar and vocal chops...others have covered that plenty. For me, this whole album just feels so consistently good. Someone said this was a happy record, I dunno about that. I see more of a wistful innocence to some of the songs ("Twin Falls", for instance, just kills me in the same way White Stripes "We're Going to be Friends" does). There's a certain charm and sweetness on this album, for sure, but more than enough edge, maturity and intelligence to keep it interesting and never cloying or obvious.
And to whoever said there was 'nothing going on lyrically', HUH? The lyrics are a big part of the reason why I can listen to this album for days on end. Even in some of its straightforward simplicity, there's always a line or phrase to latch onto and ponder and smile and sigh about...huge ideas distilled to the bare essentials. Sometimes odd, sometimes vague, but never esoteric-just-for-the-sake-of-being-obscure, which was (and is) so refreshing in the hipper-than-thou, indie heyday of the early-mid 90s.
This was my first and only BTS for years (never could get into earlier BTS or Caustic Resin), and didn't buy any of their subsequent releases as they came out, for fear that nothing could match the perfection of TNWWL. Since then I've decided that 'Keep It Like A Secret' probably comes in second. If you're looking for a slightly more polished sound, I would highly recommend KILAS...otherwise, I see no reason why not start with TNWWL, I don't think it's any less accessible than their later releases, just different.
And one more thing about the 'promo' at the end...Come on...jeesh! If you listened to it and didn't end up laughing out loud, or at least smirking, by the end...then perhaps you just don't get it, which helps me understand why you didn't appreciate this album.
I have rambled, but I think it's fair to say that this album is capable of changing your entire musical outlook, depending on where you stand when you first hear it.