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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable work of art.
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...
Published on August 3, 2004 by Jason

versus
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just not the same
I've listened to Diary & Lp 2 so many times I've suprised they haven't broken. I was really excited when this came out, until I listened to it. This just isn't the same. I can't bash them too hard, this is still SDRE, but this just isn't cutting it. Is it too mainstream? I can't quite put my finger on it. It reminds me a little more or JE's solo album, which wasn't...
Published on January 31, 2005 by AnnieNJ


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable work of art., August 3, 2004
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (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.

I really did get a kick out of reading the past reviews for this album here, as there were some really great ones. One, in particular, went on about how a work of art is not merely an external object, but can, very much, be a piece of yourself. It's a reflection, a representation, of you. That review inparticular really connected with me, because it is exactly how I feel with this album. If I recommend this album to someone, I will do it with all my heart, and know that I'm in fact sharing a deep part of my very self with them at that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragically ahead of their time, June 15, 2006
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (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. Certainly not an album's worth, at least. Every song is, at the very least, pleasant background music, except perhaps for "Prophet," a foray into Eastern-tinged prog that others have done much better, in my opinion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sunny day is the bestest band in the whole wide world!, October 18, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, February 18, 2005
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
I like the idea of "Proggressive Rock" but I don't like most Prog Rock bands, because they're always mired in some pseudo-classical grandiloquent schlock that plods for days. How It Feels to Be Something On is what Prog Rock should be; complex without being complicated, powerful without being raunchy, lofty without being bloated. This album is an emotional journey bordering on religious experience. And the production is some of the best I've ever heard, which as a musician I'm probably stealing ideas from constantly. No recording can ever be perfect, but this one comes close.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choked on society, December 31, 2007
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece ****1/2, November 1, 2005
By 
JWK "jwk" (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
SDRE is a two sided coin. The first side encompasses their first two albums; raw, bleeding-heart, tortured, love-obsessed, low-fi. The flipside represents the latter half of their albums; grandiose, poetic, sweeping, accomplished, passionate. Both sides have a common theme; emotion.

The first album after the band's break, "How It Feels to be Something On," stands as their most accomplished and possibly best album. Jeremy's vocals have improved. His lyrics: more thematic. Surprisingly, the band sounds tighter than they ever did during their emo-pioneer days. They introduce their progressive rock roots here, as well, something they had only previously hinted. As a result, the album plays very much like a rock opera. If the song lyrics were linked by a story, it could rank with "Tommy" and "The Wall" as one of the great concept albums. Regardless, it still FEELS like a concept album and as a result, requires some attention.

The arena ready opener "Pillars" reintroduces us to the band. And the progressivness of "100 million" and the mid-Eastern tinged "Roses in Water" reveal the band's new game plan. Though lyrically not as Christian-based as LP2, Jeremy is still obviously influenced by religion on the aforementioned "Roses" and "Prophet." There are a few tunes that sound like first era leftovers (Days Were Golden and Two Promises) but the band had never really branched out in this way before. They even attempt what can only be described as a break-out-your-lighters acoustic ballad with "Every Shining Time You Arrive." Taken as a whole the album is amazing. Oddly, the band sounds ready for stadiums, even though radio-friendly songs like "8" and "In Circles" are nowhere to be found. But that's a small quibble. The album is great.

Overall: 9 out of 10.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just shy of brilliant, July 23, 2000
By 
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
Sunny Day is one of my favorites. This albums happens to be my fav album by them. "Lp2" and "Diary" were two fantastic albums. The opening track on "Diary" set the tone for a great album. I didn't think they could top that album, but I was surprised. This album seemed less focused on blowing your speakers with pure rock. (which they do well) This album was an emotional album, a little more quiest. A few of these songs depressed me. But if a song can do that, it's good. The first track slowly comes in and hits you in the gut with good music. The songs on this album aren't as "rock" but are still DAMN GOOD! Gutair and video games in my humble opinion is a classic, I love it and nothing will ever come close to such a song. The last song on the album "days were golden" was another one of those songs. Buy this album...if you don't like it, something's wrong with you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumphant Return For A Very Underrated Band, February 2, 2001
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
Fans must have been devisated when Sunny Day Real Estate broke up before releasing their second album. The band was extremely talented and had so much potential. Their debut album Diary is one of the most underrated albums of the 90's, and the band never got the due they deserved despite Nate and William joining the high-profile Foo Fighters. Following up the great yet mysterious LP2, SDRE returned with a more mature sound with How It Feels To Be Something On. Nate was gone, but with a new bass player, the band still sounded great. The sound wasn't as hard, but it was just as emotional. Jeremy's lyrics and vocals still pack the same power as they did on Diary and LP2, and the musicianship from the band is great. "Pillars" is a dark and powerful track while "Every Shining Time You Arrive" is beautiful and bittersweet. There is really no filler on this album; "Guitars And Video Games" and the title cut along with "Pillars" and "Every Shining Time..." alone make this album worth it. It you are a fan of the band, do not overlook this album. Their sound might be a little different, but change is good. It's still the same SDRE you know and love.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musically, their most accomplished album, June 25, 2004
By 
J A W (Norman, OK United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
The shifting tones of "Roses in Water" and the climactic buildup of "The Prophet" are worth price of the album. The first time you hear "Roses", you'll probably go "....ewwww". But it grows on you, as you can feel the layers of the melody lines dig into your skin. It's borderline classical, and excellent rock music. Pillars, Every Shining Time, and the title track are also good songs.
This album isn't as "rocking" or "melodic" as the LP2 is: that one kept one foot in it's so called "emo" roots, whereas this album has splintered off into its own category. LP2 is more adrenaline oriented, this is more meditative, experimental. Jeremy tests his vocal range, Dan tests his arpeggios, and this plays well. Both albums should be purchased, as both are pillars of the 90s indie rock scene.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're all good!, March 10, 2000
By 
Jeff Wright (London, England (born in Canada though)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It Feels to Be Something On (Audio CD)
Upon hearing "How it feels...", I was blown away by the overpowering musicianship, as well as the different ranges Jeremy sings in. Although it lacks the driving breakdowns and pure "rock" moments of the past, it most definetly is an album that changes for the better. I feel this is a more mature album, by a matured band. Every song has its own special appeal, that keeps you listening (like I would have turned it off anyway). It's also a great album to listen to after smokin' a few jizoints, or before bed!
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How It Feels to Be Something On
How It Feels to Be Something On by Sunny Day Real Estate (Audio CD - 1998)
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