My Bloody Valentine's brilliant "Loveless" is easily the most famous and acclaimed shoegazer record, but this sparkling debut from Slowdive, released the same year as MBV's masterpiece, is, in many ways, every bit as moving and beautiful. It is definitely one of my 10-15 favorite records of all-time, and I still prefer it to both "Souvlaki" and "Pygmalion," Slowdive's other two (phenomenal) albums. Written entirely by guitarist/singer Neil Halstead, "Just for a Day" stays true to its title, capturing alien ephemera within its breezy, hazy musical web. Guitars wash in and out like waves, drums and bass creep slowly along, and both Halstead and Rachel Goswell intone their beautifully insightful lyrics over the wondrously droning sea of sound. Opener "Spanish Air" is my favorite song on the album, lurching slowly like a funeral march with its martial drum beat and guitar washes until being finally punctuated by one of the best ever uses of a cello in a rock song. "Waves," "Celia's Dream," and the instrumental "Erik's Song" are my other favorites, even though almost every tune on here is a highlight and a musical world unto itself. Besides its aesthetic beauty, "Just for a Day" possesses a moving, understated emotional punch, ranging from the drearily melancholic to the overflowingly redemptive. One of my friends listened to this album incessantly in the wake of his father's death, and he says it struck a chord so deep that he can no longer listen to it without being driven to tears. Powerful, resonant, and fleeting, "Just for a Day" is an astonishing listen.