This record is a dense, beautifully lush work of stunning depth and emotional anguish. I truly haven’t heard anything quite this beautiful since Ok Computer, and if you’ve heard that gem you’ll know that is quite a compliment.
SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE/How It Feels To Be Something On
Sunny Day Real Estate have been blessed, or cursed, depending upon your persuasion, with the honor of being on the grandfathers of modern emo. You’d never guess that connection by listening to this album, however. When most of us think emo, we think punky-pop-power chord rock, or the P-squared formula of doom, as I like to call it. This record is a dense, beautifully lush work of stunning depth and emotional anguish. I truly haven’t heard anything quite this beautiful since Ok Computer, and if you’ve heard that gem you’ll know that is quite a compliment.
How It Feels To Be Something On kicks off with my favorite track, “Pillars.” A high, keening drone, barely drifts out of the speakers, and then a simple, repeated guitar lick is added. The drone changes pitches, and the drum and bass both enter in unison. Vocal moans, in the upper registers, choke out, and then softly, nearly speaking, XXX begins to sing. His voice is at once, delicate, and crushing. Like a well mixed drink. This continues, and then the chorus thingy happens. And happens is the best way to describe it, it literally comes out of nowhere with a slight breakbeat and a torrent of sound.
The first time I heard this track I about feel off my chair. WOW! Lather, rinse, repeat. Verse, and then another chorus, this time even more crushing than the first, and with a tinge of feedback way back in the mix. A delicate bridge of interwoven guitar and rollicking bass link chorus to the outro, which ties the whole song up, nice and tidy, and threatens to make me cry everytime I hear it. Goddamn, I am an emotional bastard.
“Roses in Water,” is similar to “Pillars”, but with a different approach. Less of a defined chorus. The vocal delivery has a tinge of the middle-eastern vibe. Altogether pleasing. Nothing earthshaking, but pleasing.
“Every Shining Time You Arrive,” arrives with a softly strummed guitar, and a very stream of conciousness approach to the vocals. The guitar stays, as the underframe, and a heavily hit tom, is dropped on top of it. Shortly there after, a lilting guitar line. Vocals maintain. The guitar noodles around for a bit, and the drums just pound away. The track just approaches and recedes, but never peaks. Nice. Celtic almost nearing the end. Very nearly Celtic.
TWO PROMISES!! Jesus. Good fucking song.
Ok ok, I know I said every track, but I’m really tired of writing individual song reviews. Hopefully those four little “sneak previews” have gotten your interest enough to make you want to go pick up this disk. Its well worth it, trust me.