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.