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How It Feels to Be Something On

80 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 22, 1998
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Vinyl, 1998
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Audio, Cassette, September 22, 1998
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$10.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

How It Feels to Be Something On + The Rising Tide + Diary (Remaster) [Vinyl]
Price for all three: $37.67

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Sunny Day Real Estate broke up in 1995 when bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith left to join the Foo Fighters or when frontman Jeremy Enigk converted to Christianity, depending on whom you ask. The band got back together in the summer of 1997 (minus Mendel, replaced by former Mommyheads bassist Jeff Palmer) to jam, and a full album blossomed. The result, How It Feels to Be Something On, is nothing short of stunning. Poking their heads into the gaping jaws of yearning, Enigk and company unravel tight, atypical rock songs to reveal a shimmering spool of uncertain longing. Almost sounding like an unlikely hybrid of the Smiths and Yes, How It Feels... is the grandest slab of musical sympathy since Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, equal parts intensity and sadness for the sing-along set. One of 1998's best albums. --Jason Josephes

1. Pillars
2. Roses In Water
3. Every Shining Time You Arrive
4. Two Promises
5. 100 Million
6. How It Feels To Be Something On
7. The Prophet
8. Guitar And Video Games
9. The Shark's Own Private Fuck
10. Days Were Golden

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B00000C3ZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,077 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jason on August 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you go back and look at some of the reviews here glowing with praise, you'll have a good idea of how good "How it Feels to Be Something On" really is. All I can do is add my two cents to the collective whole and hope it encourages anyone and everyone who is undecided about buying such an album to, well, do so.

Sunny Day Real Estate is one of my favorite bands. I have enjoyed every one of their releases considerably, and it's a shame that they aren't marked as one of the better or more popular bands of the 90's. Began with "Diary", went along with "LP2", skipped to "The Rising Tide", and came back to "How it Feels"; saved the best for last, I guess.

Hmmm, where to start. "Pillars" is an absolutely stunning, restrained composition that is laboriously constructed and beautifully hypnotic. The climax comes around 3:13 in a breathtaking combination of instrument and vocal that is nothing less than euphoric. Absolutely haunting. Roses.... OK, I'm going to refrain from fanatically describing each and every song. I can do that. I can -- really. Hmm...

I'm pondering the thought of exactly "why" this album is Sunny Day's strongest -- or, for that matter, one of the strongest albums I own period -- and I'm not really coming up with a satisfiable answer. It is, without question, the slowest, the most introspective, and the least "rocking" of the band's four studio releases, and upon very first listen, might not knock you flat like "Diary" or even "The Rising Tide". That said, it inevitably burrowed itself deep within my mind -- my soul -- and I swear to God, everytime I listen to it, it's pure joy. I don't know what else to say.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tommy M. on June 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Of the first three SDRE albums, I find this one the most fascinating. It has very little in common with the first two, which tangled sometimes jarringly with emo and stoner rock. Diary and LP2 are both important documents of 90s music, but they don't have the confident polish and grace of How It Feels. While the first two often used chugging rhythms and voice-cracking vocals, How It Feels comes off as an indie rock album that could have come out last week (and I mean that in a good way).

Enigk's voice seemed to have leathered up considerably during the band's breakup, and he's capable of a haunting falsetto that imprinted "100 Million" on my brain from the first listen. The muddy bass of before is now melodic, strummy and very tight with Goldsmith's kit. The giutars do a lot more jangling and picking and less hammering. To call it more "refined" would be a disservice to Diary and LP2, so I'll just say it's a cleaner production. In fact, the mix is fantastic, as another reviewer noted.

It seems that How It Feels was a snapshot of a band in significant stylistic transition only a few years into its career, like Radiohead or the Beatles. And I think this style of music is more suited to Enigk's vocals. It's more affecting. The title track and closing track are excellent examples. It's a little processed, but this never actually sticks out. In their previous work, I felt that Enigk's vocal range was SDRE's weakest link, but he's almost like a different singer here.

What will stick out to listeners of their earlier work is the superior production that lends the album a much wider sonic stage. The muffled living room has become an auditorium, and the haunting How It Feels soars with hope, wistfulness, hurt, and joy. It's not quite like anything I've heard before.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
this record is the finest masterpiece ever. the most cryptic, caressing lyrics brought to you by the finest voice in all the land and drums impossible not beat along with in the air. these guys are the kings of the underground, coming soon to a major label near you, and they deserve it. i don't know what else to say- how can perfection be described?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Penglase on December 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Following a breakup in 1995, Sunny Day Real Estate reformed a few years later with a slightly modified line-up. From the opening moments of the album, it is very clear that they've done some growing up during their hiatus. That is not to say that their first two Lps were sophomoric or juvenile, but this band sounds weathered and wise, bold, and visionary.

The musical soundscapes in songs like Roses in Water, and The Prophet, are chilling and moving. There are moments when the band is weaving a dark tapestry of unsettled beauty, and Enigk simply calls out in kind, completing the picture wonderfully. Lyrics like "we were climbing forever, an infinite task. . ." perfectly describe the feel of this album; maybe a soundtrack for an epic journey, a photograph somewhere in the thick of things. And the moments when they arrive (like at the end of Every Shining Time You Arrive) are deeply satisfying.

How It Feels. . .is an album that keeps giving. Some may find Enigk's voice a bit jarring, or the dissonant guitar tones unsettling, but this also isn't an album for the general masses, and it doesn't purport to be so. But if this album makes sense to you, you will find yourself playing it again and again for years to come.
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