The Riff
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The Riff

90 Album Thread: Sunny Day Real Estate “How It Feels to Be Something On” (1998)

Original album artwork. (Source: Discogs.com)

The Seattle, WA-based Sunny Day Real Estate story is convoluted. It’s full of peaks and valleys, breakups, and reunification. They were a wonderful white-hot mess for most of the time they were together. (It’s also interesting to note that Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters even showed up in the middle of it all to borrow a few members of the band and then give one back.)

You can look at them as a group that never fulfilled their promise, or, as I tend to view them, you can see them as a band that spread fantastic output over a wide range of years and configurations.

Their first album, “Diary,” and the record produced by the late version of this band, “The Fire Theft,” are great. But it was this 3rd album, 1998’s “How It Feels to Be Something On,” that really made me say, “Wow.”

When I reached the third song of that album, “Every Shining Time You Arrive,” I officially fell in love with this band. I was already trending in that direction, but that tune sealed it for years to come.

Be warned; this is true alternative rock and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. But if it grabs you, you’ll love it. The musicianship is stellar. They play with form and time signatures in ways many bands would avoid.

Cause, in the end, Sunny Day Real Estate was dedicated to making their music, regardless of whether the whole world would like it. And they did an excellent job of it.

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