Review Summary: Emo music will never be the same as Sunny Day Real Estate shows us one heart-wrenching diary.
Legendary albums come from time to time. Songwriting is one of the most powerful, emotional elements of an album; and when that songwriting is sad, amazing, and relatable, you seem to let your depression go. Well, Sunny Day Real Estate stuffed eleven depressing songs into the most breathtaking diary, leaving me with a heavy heart in a dead, eerie silence.
I came across Sunny Day Real Estate when watching the Foo Fighters documentary, “Back and Forth” about the bands ups and downs. In the movie, they speak of Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith’s old band, Sunny Day Real Estate. With only hearing a few seconds of the songs “Seven” and “In Circles,” I was already intrigued by this later to be found Emo band. As I was searching the Internet, I fell in love with the band, and in particular, this album. With ghostly lyrics, and a beautiful mix of heavy and soft instrumental parts, I was left speechless, and feeling a little depressed too.
Ok enough of my sob story, onto the good stuff!
Seven- an instrumental masterpiece to say the least; starting out with a quick guitar riff followed by a few quick drums fills and cymbal crashes; Jeremy barley whispers “Sew It On” in the most ghostly way possible. After a great instrumental showing, I reached the chorus and started to feel his emotion when he yelled “you taste it when you die!” over and over again; and that’s when I started to get a sense of what this band was truly about.
In Circles-This is my favorite song of the whole album. With a bass lead groove this song is very powerful; a song that almost resembles Nirvana in a way with soft verses that lead up to a loud in your face chorus. I personally think that this song needs more justice; it is truly amazing.
Songs about An Angel- This song made me shed a tear. I was lying in bed, listening to this album when this song hit me hard. At first I honestly thought that this song was going to be mediocre, slow paced song. However, as I listened I started to feel Jeremy’s voice build up; and then I hit the chorus. With a great instrumental backing, they proceed to scream “Sometimes you see right through me!” and that is when chills consumed my body.
Round- After listening to the first three songs off the album, I was expecting the most depressing, oppressive song ever; but as I heard the upbeat guitar riffs in the beginning, my heart became a little lighter. Overall, this is a loud, jamming song, however, the upbeat song is misleading due to the fact that the lyrics are utterly depressing. With lines like “what’s wrong with me” and “The suffering said we go around”
47- this song opens up with a classic guitar riff, leading to another awesome SDRE showing. The song is very laid back compared to the first four tracks, and flows, instead of a define change. This is a great song, and is one of the very few songs on the album that doesn’t haunt me.
The Blankets Were The Stairs – a very interesting mix in between vocals and instrumentation is what makes this song. Following the albums haunting theme, you can barley hear “inferior” over the rest of the band. This is one of my favorites off the album.
Pheurton Skeurto - Here is a song that would be a great theme song to a creepy nightmare: A non-melodic piano part, with Nate creeping in the background. The song ends with Jeremy barley whispering, “how will they know” ending this short song.
Shadows – A light beginning to the song leads into a loud chorus, going back to light guitars. As this pattern continues, my highlight of the song is the robotic guitar riff in the second chorus. Overall, this is a beautiful, well-balanced song.
48 – I have heard a lot of buzz about this song being many fan favorites. William starts off the song with a light drumroll, which is the heart of the verse. As guitars keep William company, Jeremy’s voice fades in until they find the chorus. Now this chorus may be one of the best on the album. As Drums pound in the background, Lyrics are screamed in a deafening manner.
The song ends quickly, and this is when Jeremy’s voice really got my heart.
Grendel – As lyrics just float around in the atmosphere, there is not really a definite vocal part in this song. The song starts out with ambient noises, followed by an ever so soft guitar. When we reach the chorus, you can start to make out Jeremy’s slurred voice. If you do care to look up the lyrics to the lyrics however, you start to understand how deep and hopeless the song is; pure poetry.
Sometimes – As the album closes to an end, you can feel the exhaustion in the band. This is a perfect fit for the ending of the album, almost giving the word “sometimes” a whole new meaning. After the song ended, I sat there; feeling a roller coaster of emotions, knowing this album will always be a watermark for emo bands to come.
I had a life changing experience listening to this album. When I first dove in, I did not know that this album would be so deep and emotional. As I listened to the lyrics, I was haunted by the hopelessness in their voices, and they made me rethink the “happy” Lego family. Are those faces of hopelessness? I guess we will never know.
What we will always know is that the beautiful mix in between a tight instrumentation, and pure poetic lyrics, is what makes this album a classic 5/5.