The Rising Tide (2-LP)
Described by Jerermy Enigk as a “wake-up call,” Sunny Day Real Estate’s fourth album (and their first for Time Bomb) The Rising Tide presents the most accomplished version of their gripping, anthemic sound yet. Appropriate to its title, The Rising Tide comes in sweeps and swells, ranging from searching, uncompromising rock like “Killed By an Angel” and “One” to gentle, beautiful ballads like “Rain Song” and even pop-tinged songs like “Television,” which sounds a bit like a more propulsive version of the Police’s early ’80s singles.
Though the album was recorded with a trio lineup (Jeremy Enigk, Dan Hoerner, and William Goldsmith), it’s some of the band’s fullest-sounding work, rich with strings and keyboard flourishes that add extra depth to the shimmering, Eastern-inspired drones of “Fool in the Photograph” and “Faces in Disguise.” Lou Giordano’s production gives The Rising Tide an unabashedly big, clean sound that frames Sunny Day’s detailed songwriting and arrangements perfectly, giving the restrained, reflective “Tearing in My Heart” and “The Ocean” as much impact as driven tracks like “Snibe” and “Disappear.”
Best of all is the title track, which blends a beautiful melody, heartfelt vocals, and an insistent rhythm into a sweeping, affecting finale. Expansive and complex without compromising the band’s focused, impassioned style, The Rising Tide is one of Sunny Day Real Estate’s — and 2000’s — most impressive albums.