Ignore the drama (breakups, finding God, refusing to play in California for some reason); the only thing worth examining about Sunny Day Real Estate is the band's music. Especially "The Rising Tide," the group's fifth album. It's quite possibly the group's finest work to date, which says a lot, considering that the band perfected the (much-maligned) emo genre with its previous outings.
"The Rising Tide" is both anthemic and bombastic while still managing to be mysterious and off-kilter. In short, SDRE has finally gotten in touch with its inner-U2. Producer Lou Giordano has given the material a polish that allows the listener to fully appreciate the band's intricate melodies. Though some might dismiss singer Jeremy Enigk's voice as too shrill or Rush-like, closer listens prove otherwise.
With "The Rising Tide," Sunny Day Real Estate has made a near-classic album.