|Neutral Milk Hotel — In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (February 10, 1998)
Neutral Milk Hotel — In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
ζ→ Indie pop band, headed by the reclusive Jeff Mangum, that gained acclaim for their masterpieces of fuzzy, experimental pop.
ζ→ Named Best Album of the 1990s by Magnet Magazine, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea gives us Jeff Mangum's powerful solo acoustic work, full horn–section marches, history, religion, & sex — everything you hoped for and more!
ζ→ LP includes a coupon for a full download.
Formed: 1989 in Athens, GA
Location: Athens, GA
Album release: February 10, 1998
Recording date: July, 1997 — September, 1997
Record Label: Merge Records
01. The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 2:00
02. The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3 3:06
03. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 3:22
04. Two–Headed Boy 4:26
05. The Fool 1:53
06. Holland, 1945 3:13
07. Communist Daughter 1:57
08. Oh Comely 8:18
9. Ghost 4:09
10. [untitled] 2:16
11. Two–Headed Boy Pt. 2 5:14
ζ→ The album's cover was a collaboration between Mangum and R.E.M.'s staff designer, Chris Bilheimer. The general design reflects the taste of Jeff Mangum; Bryan Poole said that “Mangum was always into that old–timey, magic, semi–circus, turn–of–the–century, penny arcade kind of imagery.” One particular piece Mangum showed to Bilheimer was an old European postcard with an image of people bathing at a resort, which was then cropped and altered. Bilheimer also designed a broadsheet–style lyrics sheet for the album, and inadvertently titled "Holland, 1945" in the process; Mangum wanted to use either "Holland" or "1945" for the song, and Bilheimer suggested he use both.
ζ→ Jeff Mangum — guitar, drums, vocals, bells, xylophone, air organ, Casio keyboards, tapes, cover design
ζ→ Robert Schneider — air organs, home organs, fuzz bass, xylophone, horn arrangements
ζ→ Lisa Janssen — fuzz bass
ζ→ Oliver Lindberg — saxophone
ζ→ Rick Benjamin — trombone
ζ→ Michelle Anderson Uillean Pipes
ζ→ Jeremy Barnes Composer, Drums, Organ
ζ→ Rick Benjamin Trombone
ζ→ Chris Bilheimer Art Direction
ζ→ Merisa Bissinger Flugelhorn, Saxophone
ζ→ Laura Carter Zanzithophone
ζ→ Brian Dewan Illustrations
ζ→ Julian Koster Accordion, Bowed Banjo, Composer, Singing Saw
ζ→ Jeff Mangum Art Direction, Bowed Bass, Composer, Floor Tom, Guitar, Organ, Shortwave Radio, Tapes, Vocals
ζ→ Brian McPhee Unknown Contributor Role
ζ→ Robert Schneider Guest Artist, Producer
ζ→ Scott Spillane Composer, Euphonium, Flugelhorn, Horn Arrangements, Trombone, Trumpet
Reviewed by Adam Pfleider; Score: 10
ζ→ Indie bands have built careers upon it. Jesse Lacey covers the hell out of it. Sometimes, one might catch Jesse Coppenbarger of Colour Revolt add a line from it to the end of "Blood in Your Mouth." Many music critics, not unlike myself, find it to be one of the best records ever written.
ζ→ I'm speaking of Neutral Milk Hotel's opus of an album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
ζ→ This album brings up one of the best arguments in music: What music is real, and what music is processed? Does Chad Kroeger care as much about every Nickelback lyric as Thom Yorke does with Radiohead? Who are we as critics to judge something we consider to be either art or for a lack of a better word, bullshit?
From the opening four chord repetitive march of "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1" to the saddening closer of "Two Headed Boy Pt. 2," the listener will be wondering of Jeff Mangum's dark thoughts and ideas in the vein of someone such as Daniel Johnston.
ζ→ What the album does best is that it never stays stale. "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2 & 3" starts off slow and hurls itself into a full on parade, while "The Fool" is a slow procession, a calming walk into the downtown festival that is "Holland 1945."
ζ→ For those Brand New fanboys out there (myself included), you should be aware of the crown jewel on the album, "Oh Comely" (hearing a "HOLY SHIT!" at the end of the take is rumored to be recorded from only a sound check). "Oh Comely" has a two–part form, the first being a six–minute jump roping of the E and C chords, with a little G–D change–up, and a second part postlude of E and Am (also rumored to be a separate track of itself on the album), with lyrics that make the listener reach out, grab the one they love, and never let go: "Goldaline, my dear / We will fold and freeze together / Far away from here / There is sun and spring and green forever."
ζ→ "Oh Comely" is a testament of the power lyrics can have over simplistic musical progression. The second verse is still one of the most powerful and poetic things I have ever heard in music. The fact that I'm only 21, I understand that I have a long way to go, and go back, but at the moment, the lines are still a crushing blow not only to the mind, but to the heart as well.
ζ→ Every bit of the album sounds like it was recorded in a 4x4 room with the best four–track money can buy. Every instrument is perfectly placed or taken out. When a saw is heard, it sounds almost necessary and very fitting, but when it's just Mangum and his guitar on "Oh Comely" or "Two Headed Boy," it's meant to be as dry in the tape recording as it is when it comes out the speakers.
ζ→ Many have called this album "pretentious crap." Many have called this the best album ever. And I myself, feel that this review doesn't even give the album half the justice it deserves, but I'm not a man of great words like Mangum. Please, if you haven't heard this record, give it a listen. I guarantee that at least one song will touch the heart across the eleven tracks of this magnificent album. ♦ http://www.absolutepunk.net/
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny; Score: *****
ζ→ Perhaps best likened to a marching band on an acid trip, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is another quixotic sonic parade; lo–fi yet lush, impenetrable yet wholly accessible, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is either the work of a genius or an utter crackpot, with the truth probably falling somewhere in between. Again teaming with producer Robert Schneider, Jeff Mangum invests the material here with new maturity and clarity; while the songs run continuously together, as they did on the previous On Avery Island, there is a much clearer sense of shifting dynamics from track to track, with a greater emphasis on structure and texture. Mangum's vocals are far more emotive as well; whether caught in the rush of spiritual epiphany ("The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two and Three") or in the grip of sexual anxiety ("Two–Headed Boy"), he sings with a new fervor, composed in equal measure of ecstasy and anguish. However, as his musical concepts continue to come into sharper focus, one hopes his stream–of–consciousness lyrical ideas soon begin to do the same; while Mangum spins his words with the rapid–fire intensity of a young Dylan, the songs are far too cryptic and abstract to fully sink in — In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is undoubtedly a major statement, but just what it's saying is anyone's guess. ♦ http://www.allmusic.com/
• Amazon.com United States The 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time 2009 #2
• Blender U.S. 100 Greatest Indie–Rock Albums Ever 2007 #32
• Entertainment Weekly U.S. Indie Rock 25 2008 *
• Magnet U.S. Top 60 Albums, 1993–2003 2003 #1
• Nude as the News U.S. The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the 90s 1999 #3
• Pitchfork Media U.S. Top 100 Albums of the 1990s 2003 #4
• Paste U.S. The Best 90 Albums of the 1990s 2012 #2
• Q magazine United Kingdom Top 30 Albums of the Past 25 Years 2010 #16
• Spin U.S. 100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005 2005 #97
• Village Voice U.S. Pazz & Jop: Albums of the Year 1998 #15
|Neutral Milk Hotel — In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (February 10, 1998)