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How It Feels to Be Something On

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Album Review

The cryptically titled How It Feels to Be Something On was the first fruit of Sunny Day Real Estate's reunion, and it simultaneously smoothed out their sound while shifting it into something altogether more ambitious. Always somewhat arty and challenging to begin with, SDRE flirts with out-and-out prog rock here, cleaning up the production to reveal the contrasting layers in their ever more intricate arrangements. There's a droning, almost Middle Eastern feel to some of the songs, pointing up Jeremy Enigk's newfound taste for spiritual mysticism (though the mantra-like chanting on "The Prophet" comes off a little awkwardly). Enigk has matured greatly as a vocalist, applying lessons learned from his solo project; gone is the strangled roar he frequently used on Diary, but even while confirming his softer bent, he's reined in the swooning, bordering-on-fey excess of LP2. Similarly, the band's musicianship keeps getting sharper, handling the twisting chord progressions with an easy grace that keeps the songs flowing smoothly into one another. Almost too smoothly, in fact — if the album has a flaw, it's that the climactic peaks don't seem to scale quite the same heights as on the band's other albums. That's a minor complaint, to be sure, but perhaps that's why How It Feels to Be Something On can feel at times like a dry run for the magnificently perfected The Rising Tide, where Enigk's piercing falsetto really hits its stride and where the band's songwriting fulfills their every anthemic ambition. But that's only in hindsight; taken on its own terms, How It Feels to Be Something On is a remarkable step forward from a band that seemed destined to leave its full potential untapped.

Customer Reviews

The Best Album Of The 90's

Simply Put, This Is Without a Doubt the Best Album That Came Out In the 90's. Personally, It's Sunny Day Real Estate's Best And Most All Around Perfectly Constructed Set Of Songs. 10 Songs Seemlesly Drive, Drift, and Roar With Musical Wonder And Joy, That You Get Sucked In Again And Agian And Again. "Day's Were Golden" Is One Of The Best Songs, Not Just For S.D.R.E, But Ever! A Masterpiece For Any Musical Genre. I Love Everything About This Album(A must Buy For All Songs)

Simply Outstanding

From start to finish this album really is some piece of work. Sunny Day Real Estate is an incredible band and this album is exhibit A. I have their entire body of work including B-Sides and Demos. I don't understand how music this good can be so relatively unknown. Once you listen, you'll know. Take a bow gents!

This just might be...... all around favorite album. Every track is absolutely incredible. This one deserves classic status on every level. The music, vocals, lyrics, and vibe are intensely gorgeous and compelling. I truly hope a fifth album is in the near future.


Formed: 1992 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Considering their relatively brief existence, Sunny Day Real Estate racked up enough dramatic twists and turns to rank with some of the great rock soap operas. Their key members engaged in just about every rock cliché imaginable, including finding religion, refusing to work with the media, breaking up, joining a big-name group, and even recording an ambitious full-orchestra pop album -- all before reuniting in 1997. Although formed in 1992 amid the burgeoning hard rock scene in Seattle (and later...
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