Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

[Merge; 1998]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: indie rock, experimental rock
Others: Circulatory System, Apples in Stereo, The Music Tapes, Major Organ & The Adding Machine

Trying to describe the reasons why Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is so great  is like trying to describe what cologne smells like to a grasshopper.  It takes hours to fully explain its greatness (not that cologne is great or anything), and still then it serves no justice because it will be a long while before I totally figure out everything that makes this album tick. Frontman, Jeff Mangum's piercing voice is vital to the sound that makes up the unique Elephant 6 band. It carries little or no dynamic variation, yet brings an array of emotions with each vocal line. And it doesn't matter how high the note is, Mangum will try to reach it whether he's in tune or not. The multi-layered instruments and creative vocal melodies cause the simple chord progressions to sound so original. From flugelhorns and singing saws to fuzz basses and pipes, each instrument is tastefully spread over the steel-stringed acoustic guitars. The album's lyric sheet boasts quirkiness and perverse visions twisted into themes from the Holocaust. In "The King of Carrot Flowers pt. One", Mangum sings "and your mom would stick a fork right into daddy's shoulder and your dad would throw the garbage all across the floor, as we would lay and learn what each others bodies were for." As beautiful as it is disturbing,  In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a stunning piece of art that draws you deeper with each listen. Most great art takes time to appreciate, and this album is no exception.

1. The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1
2. King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2-3
3. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
4. Two-Headed Boy
5. The Fool
6. Holland, 1945
7. Communist Daughter
8. Oh Comely
9. Ghost

11. Two-Headed Boy, Pt. 2

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