Review Summary: A shallow achievement.
A shallow achievement, not in that the achievement itself is shallow, but that it is an achievement in shallow. “Shallow” being defined as an album that never really means
anything. How It Feels To Be Something On
represents no culture. It epitomizes no scene or genre. It’s certainly not life changing, or even emotionally stirring. But it’s still perfect
, because every song on it is effectively perfect. Every song is a masterpiece, not for what it makes you feel, but for it’s own musical flawlessness. And somehow, How It Feels
the sum of parts, a shallow, yet undeniably perfect record.
Which is funny, because that’s essentially the opposite of what Sunny Day Real Estate did with Diary
. It’s essentially the opposite of emo
, or emo as Sunny Day Real Estate made it. It seems by the very nature of emo that there could never be a perfect
emo album, because emo thrives on its imperfections. This is why How It Feels To Be Something On
is so shocking, because it sees Sunny Day Real Estate reversing the idea that they founded just a few years before. Listening to How It Feels
suggests that Sunny Day Real Estate set out with the primary intention of making the perfect album, and they destroyed every convention by just doing it
. It’s a marvel because it violates the main rule that its creators established with Diary
in laying every emotion on the line and saying THIS IS HOW WE FEEL. This isn’t how they feel, this isn’t how anyone feels, and while it seems nearly blasphemous to say How It Feels To Be Something On
is among the greatest emo albums of all time for this reason, such is completely true.