The great challenge of so-called emo-rock is to make music that's both pretty and powerful, balancing big guitars and emotional overload with subtle melodies that are downright delicate. Few bands pull it off as effectively as Sunny Day Real Estate has done throughout its troubled, on-and-off existence. The band returns from an extended hiatus—during which singer Jeremy Enigk recorded a marvelous solo collection of orchestral pop, The Return Of The Frog Queen, while SDRE's rhythm section went platinum as members of Foo Fighters—with How It Feels To Be Something On, a fine collection of crisp, dramatic emo. As many albums do, How It Feels peaks too soon, opening with the magnificently epic, deceptively nuanced "Pillars." But the album's remainder is consistently solid, if not quite as immediate, with a diverse array of swollen, complex, stately rock songs like "100 Million," "The Shark's Own Private Fuck," and the title track. Enigk does an especially nice job balancing passion and enunciation here, occasionally affecting a fake accent ("Pillars," et al), a swooping falsetto ("100 Million"), or an adenoidal metal wail ("Two Promises"). It's hard to go wrong with anything Enigk records, but it's nice to hear him continuing to work with a band that has as much going for it as this one does.