on March 25, 2004
Although its influence would only truly be felt after the fact, Sunny Day Real Estate's second album was at the forefront of the so-called "emo-core" explosion during the second half of the decade. Standing in stark contrast to the classic rock-infused sounds of its Seattle grunge brethren, SDRE's music was at times able to get by on pure emotion alone.
The band's sound, although more melodic and structurally complex, still wasn't too far removed from the guitar-rock of alternative radio at the time. But it was singer Jeremy Enigk, with his empassioned delivery and high-pitched vocal yelps, who helped SDRE stand out from the pack. Enigk's singing only emphasized SDRE's flair for the dramatic, which shrouded the band in an aura of mystery that only heightened when this album was released. The band had already announced its breakup beforehand, Enigk had become a hardcore Christian and both Mendel and Goldsmith had signed on to Dave Grohl's burgeoning Foo Fighters project.
His religious predilections notwithstanding, Enigk's lyrics here show no obvious shout-outs to the man upstairs. That said, LP2 finds Sunny Day Real Estate increasing its mastery of the soft-to-loud dynamic as well as the ability to pull off seemingly unrelated section-to-section transitions.
A heavy dose of religion and the lure of fighting foos brought an early death to this superb Seattle foursome, though they were kind enough to leave us with nine timeless tracks before closing the coffin lid the first time.
Jeremy's solo album, "How it feels to be something on", and the "Rising Tide" are all great achievements for the band and its respective members, but for me did not quite hold the same depth or level of intensity as this record did.
I encourage any fan whether new or old to give this album more than one rotation in your CD Player. It took more than a year for my mind to fully recognize the beauty of this record. Even now at 25 (I bought it when I was 16) each track is still remarkable. I hope that this was helpful!
on May 22, 2001
This is one of those albums that if you're trying to learn any of these songs, you have to listen to it over a hundred times . . . and even then, you're not sure who's playing what . . . The key to this inscruitability is that each member of this unprecedented band are almost always playing different thinkgs simultaneously, and the complexity of these pieces approaches fugal at times. This album has the emotional punch of romantic era choral music. Also, the vocals are indecipherable enough that they might as well be in a different language. And the melodies and harmonies interweave like the northern lights. "iscaribaid" remains one of my favorite all time tracks, or at least my all time favorite drum line, a fascinating excersize in avoiding the downbeat.
This music is very serious, and it does not reveal itself immediately to the ear. It is not transparently fun, you can't usually dance to it, its melodies and rhythms are elusive, a puzzle to be worked out by the aesthetic subconscious, but after a few listens the power and grace of this album begins to blossom in the ear of the listener. The only drawback I can think of is that some people find Jeremy Engnik's voice annoying. I can see why, but I think the man has a beautiful voice. Go figure.
on August 6, 2001
Some albums by Tool, Radiohead, and Marilyn Manson may come close, but the above statement is true in respect to what I've heard so far of that decade. While very short (Tool's new album is twice its length), LP2 delivers in all 9 songs what rock has been missing all this time. One reveiwer mentioned how you can barely understand who plays what in some songs (mainly "Iscarabaid" and "J'Nuh"), which is certainly true. The vocals, guitars, bass, and drums seem to fade into one beautiful instrument. Some songs such as "5/4" and "8" have severe changes of pace in the middle of the song, yet for some reason, it feels natural. This is truly progressive and amazing music.
What's even more incredible is that this album was thrown togeather so that the band could break up. Some songs were originally written for Diary, but for some reason were cast aside. The structures of those songs are very simallar to Diary songs. For example, "Friday" has the same buildup to chorus pattern that "Seven" had, only it lost the repetition of riffs and lyrics that made that song drag a bit. Indeed, none of the songs here are too repititious. Every song only has the elements that would improve it, and nothing more.
If you like any type of rock music, I highly recommend LP2. It takes a few listens to get used to, but it will quickly become one of your favorites.
on October 25, 2002
While listening to music, I always try to form vivid pictures of the sound and lyrical structure in my mind. The longer it takes to accomplish this, the higher the dynamic quality of the music to me. To understand what dynamic quality of music is, I offer the following (for a general understanding of dynamic quality, read "Lila" by Robert Pirsig):
With your typical rock music tripe that bombards MTV, VH-1, and our radio airwaves, the pattern of sound structure forms in my mind immediately upon the first listen, and then just sits there like the worthless piece of garbage that it really is. Hence, the music becomes intolerable to listen to more than once (most times, not even once).
Then there are the more rare, yet all too common rock bands, where the artists genuinely care about how their music and lyrics are put together, yet always seem to compromise their initially good ideas with overproduction, limitations on song length & instrumentation, and silly rhyming lyrics. Some bands that illustrate what I am speaking of are U2, (late) Dave Mathews, and Train. Their songs generally have a good backbone to start with, yet they tend to fall (or are possibly forced) into the typical rigid patterns of static music quality. In other words, their songs are often "catchy" at first listen, but quickly become "familiar sounding" to me. Evil record labels know that the masses of music sheep out there like "familiar sounding", and that music sheep automatically label "familiar sounding" music as good music. Hence, millions in record sales. However, to an indie-rocker such as myself, one who is always seeking a dynamic quality of sound, the music of U2, Dave Mathews, and Train is usually intolerable by the second or third listen.
A very small genre of rock music started to emerge in the late 80's and early 90's. Bands like Pavement, Jawbreaker, and Slint didn't worry about trying to sell a million albums to the masses. These bands had poignant lyrics, and intertwined their message with the innovative use of their instruments. Their music was not often "catchy" at first listen, because of the shear complexity of the sound structure they created. This is a GOOD thing.
LP2 is one of the most dynamic albums I've ever heard, and probably the best rock album of 1995. The sounds put forth by the different instruments seem to bounce violently off each other, gaining momentum each time the sound pattern repeats. This creates a build-up feel to each song, an almost nervous-like energy, which complements the deep emotion in Enigk's lyrics beautifully.
The atmosphere created by LP2 makes me feel like time it is extending on itself, something that has become harder and harder to feel as I grow older. You do not want this record to end, because while it is playing time seems to stand still. When this album is playing, I feel like I will never die.
Do you understand what I mean? Do you remember when you were a kid, when everything seemed to last forever? Remember when so many experiences were your first experiences?
THAT WAS DYNAMIC QUALITY!
The songs on LP2 feel fresh and new each time I hear them, even after dozens of listenings. This is a testament to the obvious time, energy, and raw emotion that SDRE has put into the music. THAT is the mark of a great rock album, and the highest achievement that any rock band can hope for. This record, along with a few precious others, are my religion. They are among the few things in this world from which I still derive a dynamic sense of quality. They are among the few things in this world which make me feel like I'm still alive.
The most dynamic rock albums I've heard are:
"Spiderland" - Slint
"Terror Twilight" - Pavement
"Perfect from Now On" & "Keep it like a Secret" - Built to Spill
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" - Neutral Milk Hotel
"OK Computer" & "The Bends" - Radiohead
"Downward is Heavenward" - Hum
"Nothing Feels Good" - The Promise Ring
"Orange Rhyming Dictionary" - Jets to Brazil
on July 3, 2005
Over the past years, Sunny Day Real Estate has found themselves being labeled as emo legends. With the release of Diary, and all the success behind it, it would seem nearly impossible to follow up with something that was even close as successful as Diary. Diary, filled with a lot of beauty and emotional, would be hard to successfully surpass it's meaning and sheer magnificence. Did Lp2 ever succeed this? No, but I don't think that was ever Sunny Day Real Estate's intent. I think what they just wanted to do (and what they were best at) was make an album that was filled with what they were feeling. I don't think they were worried about it having the same sound or feeling as Diary, as Lp2 does have somewhat of a different sound to it. With this in mind though, do not look for Diary. Lp2 is a different album, but still keeps the beauty that Sunny Day Real Estate is known for, and they end up showing a little more to go with it.
Throughout Lp2, you will notice some major changes. Maybe just in the guitar sounds, maybe somewhere else. Lp2 is definitely a more raw sounding album (compared to Diary). It has a lot more up tempo parts, and more technical song structures. The guitars are often playing fast and heavy. The clean parts, as they were on Diary, are still magnificant though. They still posses a heartfelt sound, that really makes you feel the song. Much more dirty sounding guitars gives this album an extra kick to it. The often punky sounding guitars really sends Sunny Day Real Estate into a traditional emo sound, and it really adds quite a lot the songs. Singer Jeremy Engik still sings his heart out, but even more off key on this album. To me though, the more off key he sounds, the more passionate it sounds. Sunny Day Real Estate are all about putting their feelings down in music, and both Jeremy and the band succeed beyond this, making a very inspirational and classic sound to go along with it.
I imagine it was hard for Sunny Day Real Estate. Although Diary was more pop friendly, Lp2 was definitely more emotional and sometimes, it seems like the guys had put more worked into this then they had on Diary. That is a completely random predicament, but it does seem somewhat rational. Some of the tracks, such as the song 8 and Rodeo Jones step into completely unknown territory, but ends up sounding more passionate and emotional then anything they had ever done. With these two heavy hitters on the album, it was destined to be a classic. Songs like Friday and 5/4 sound like they could have been on Diary, but they were cut off because they didn't fit the album well enough. Jeremy really sings beautifully on these two songs, while the band play their trademark gorgeous melodies over it. As for the lyrics, they make a whole lot less sense then they did on Diary. You can tell that the band was going more for a technical and metaphoric feeling on this album. It comes off strongly though, and really emphasizes Lp2's rawness and passion. With this album displaying a two face like character of heavy hitting and softness, it equals an amazing and meaningful album, which will not be easily forgotten, even when compared to the almost flawless Diary.
Lp2 was the last emo like album that Sunny Day Real Estate had created, and also the last album bassist Nate Mendel was on. It is a popular opinion that Sunny Day had decreased in what they were once known for, emotion, as the albums continued. This can be argued, but there is one thing known for sure, and that thing is Lp2 is a solid, beautiful and amazing album. From start to finish, you find some of the most creative and hard hitting songs, yet keeping up with the tradition of matching feelings with music. Of course, it is only natural for this album to be compared to Diary. Also with that, it is very hard to choose which is better, but in my opinion, it can't be chosen. Lp2 has it's charm, it's elements that make it a very stand out record. It might not be as memorable as Diary, but it is surely nothing to forget, and it is obvious to see why this album is usually put up there with the best of the best in the emo genre. Passion can be shown in many ways, and Lp2 shows it in every way.
on September 21, 2009
LP2 never sounded so good - crisp, clean and amazing. The two remastered bonus songs and new packaging are well worth the price of picking this album up again. The packaging is designed like a mini record, fold out format, complete with CD/Record slip cover and new booklet.
on July 28, 2009
Sunny Day Real Estate
Sub Pop Records
My Rating: 8/10
Er, sorry about the ridiculous pun upstairs, but, like a tick, it bit me and injected itself before I could do anything about it.
So yeah, LP2. AKA The Pink Album. Very solid yet posthumous follow-up to the band's excellent debut, for a long time this was one of my favorite records, as it combined DC-style musical angularity and sublime melodies to form fascinating songs. Enigk begins developing his "voice as an instrument" approach on this one, with many of the lyrics being otherwise unintelligible or nonsensical but nonetheless beautiful. A strong undercurrent of Enigk's born-again Christianity is represented on songs like "5/4," "Waffle," and "Theo B." The band seems to have captured a period of complete abandon here, a freedom to explore a completely unique sound. Overall, not quite classic like "Diary," but nonetheless a very strong if "Enigk-matic" (somebody hit me please...) second offering.
1. Friday (4/5)
2. Theo B (4.5/5)
3. Red Elephant (4/5)
4. 5/4 (4/5)
5. Waffle (3.5/5)
6. 8 (5/5)
7. Iscarabaid (4/5)
8. J'Nuh (4.5/5)
9. Rodeo Jones (5/5)
on November 1, 2005
Sunny Day Real Estate was not a band I had even heard of during the 90's. Unfortunately I listened to many of the bands they inspired before I got the chance to hear any of their albums, and as a result, the band didn't sound as special or as groundbreaking as they would have otherwise. Now, they are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands, and all four of their albums I have considered my favorite at one time or another. Currently, LP2 is their best.
Another reviewer said he liked the album but thought the opening three songs were fairly regular and weak. I could not disagree more. "Friday" and especially "Theo B" are two of the best songs on the album, perhaps in their entire catalogue. They are specifically hard-- loud guitars, howling vocals. Makes me wonder if fans who dismissed "The Rising Tide" as "too rocking" ever really listened to this album. But each song is very detailed, very emotional. They're extremely personal and at times, very religious which is refreshing for rock music. If "Diary" announced the bands existence to the rock world, "The Pink Album" introduced them to SDRE World; emotional, honest, passionate, and joyful. I would say this is the most happy of the 4 albums, due to the overtly pro-Christian lyrics in great songs like "5/4," Jeremy Enigck's testimony. "J'Nuh" basically follows suit. "Rodeo Jones" is great fun and "8," of course, became the band's most commercial song.
That Sunny Day Real Estate had disbanded before the release of this album left many disillusioned fans paying more attention to the band's breakup than the album. In hindsite, all of their albums showcase them in top form, but perhaps especially here. SDRE sound like Beatles being tortured by love, and this is their "Let It Be."
Overall: 9 out of 10.
on October 25, 2000
Without a doubt this has to be one of the best Sub Pop bands, albums, or productions that I have ever heard. Who was hiding these guys, while heavy drama bands like Jane's Addiction and Tool were ruling the streets?
The album blazes by you at first, clocking in at just over 37 minutes in length. I think a lot of people, even SDRE fans, may have trouble with it because it's really hard to connect to an album when there are no lyrics, images of the band, cover art, or coherent song titles to speak of. We're so used to being fed all of these extras, that it's tough to just try and judge the music by itself, which SDRE with this release is almost daring you to do. The band is incredibly precocious and tight, shifting through odd tempos and strange dissonant harmonies, dramatic musical mood swings with aplomb. If I had to compare them with any contemporaries it would definitely be Shudder To Think, although Jane's Addiction might also be appropriate. The last three songs are absolutely blistering and incredible - particular Jeremy Enigk's vocal performance on "Iscarabraid", which teeters between a quiet tortured whisper and an agonizing cry.
on October 16, 2009
Words can't describe this album. The remastering is well done and you can clearly hear the difference from the original album, as this album has a bit more tighter sound and a more distingushed bass. There are also two "new" tracks on the album and they are in my opinion some of the best work they've done.