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Old 08-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Neutral Milk Hotel-In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Talk about an indie gem. This album, ever since it's release in 1998, has rose to tremendous popularity. And for good reason, too. Jeff Mangum, of Neutral Milk Hotel, has crafted an album of absolute brillance. This was him at an artistic peak. After this album, he disappeared almost completely from music, leaving us with an album that still has a huge impact on anyone that's willing to listen. Well, not anyone. I've showed some people this album who found the vocals grating and intolerable. I respect their opinion, but I always think: they don't know what they're missing. I admit, the vocals are quite different from your average album, and they're not exactly pretty sometimes. But the vocals are part of the reason why this album is so great. Jeff isn't the greatest vocalist, but the vocals are so filled with emotion that it doesn't even matter. The lyrics, on the other hand, are brilliant. They are mostly non-sensical, but can somehow bring out so many emotions in people. That is because Jeff Mangum is a great lyricist. Sure, his lyrics are often very strange. But that is part of the brillance of this album. It takes a creative mind to think of such things as "When you were young, you were the King of Carrot Flowers/ and how you built a tower tumbling to the sea." And as Jeff wails these surrealist lyrics over his acoustic guitar, we know that what we're listening to is pure genius.

Lots of people will disagree when they get to the second track, "King Of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 & 3," that Jeff Mangum is, in fact, a genius. The first track, which is "King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1," is much more accessible. But the second track is much more difficult to digest. It has an almost psychadelic sound to it as it opens. All of a sudden, Jeff Mangum begans to shout "I love you Jesus Christ!" Many people will probably get offended or turned off by this. I started laughing. I'm not even sure if this is supposed to be funny (I almost guarantee it is), but it is brilliant. Honestly, who is ballsy enough to put something like that on their record? Not many people, I can tell you that. This is part of the genius of Jeff Mangum. If you don't find that as brilliant as I do, fair enough. But do yourself a favor, and listen to the other tracks. There is not one weak song.

The whole album contains all surreal lyrics. Even the album art is a brilliant piece of surrealism. And Jeff Mangum is able to put surreal images in the listener's mind. They are images that become lodged permanently in your head. "Pianos filled with flames," "Flesh-licking ladies," and a "two-headed boy," are some of the images that stick with us. The lyrics are so interesting to listen to, and are the main reason so many people love this album. All the songs are lyrical highlights, but the best example of great surreal lyrics has to be the 8 minute long "Oh Comely." Although 8 minutes, it is never boring. The lyrics are a slice of brilliant surrealism. They're so creative, and it's hard to imagine someone coming up with something this genius.

It's understandable that this album may be a grower for some people, but those people need to keep listening. It is one of the most powerful albums to emerge from indie music, and should be recognized as a classic. I have a feeling this album will gain more recognition over time. That's already started to happen. And it deserves any praise that it gets. It is an absolutely essential album, and it could even have a large impact on your life.

Last edited by SammyJay; 08-28-2008 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I did a poll for top 100 albums of all time at another forum (A Classic Rock forum) and this was the only "Indie" album to make the cut.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What a great post! And I very much agree with you, it's a brillant album. Though I didn't like it at first, Jeff Mangum voice takes a while to get used to.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think its the best album of the 90's (although Loveless comes close). So amazing, not just lyrically, but musically too. Lately Ive been listening to the individual intrument parts, and they really add that extra magic to the record, especially the drums at the end of "Ghost". And the way he writes the vocals with th rythym and all, its perfect.

Anyone heard the B-SIde to "Holland, 1945", "Engine"? Its awesome, good enough to make the album even, IMO.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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2nd greatest album of all time.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 15Steps View Post
2nd greatest album of all time.
Whats the greatest?
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Whats the greatest?
ill get a lot of boos for this, but Led Zeppelin IV takes it for me.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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boo
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm goona get flamed for this, but anyways, TBH, Re-listening this really bores me quite a bit. I did love it the first time though...I've listened to this entirely like around thrice. Now I can't sit through it without getting bored. I still don't mind listening to a song or two from it, but definitely, not the entire thing.
Anyways, nice review, although I don't agree with it completely.
It was kinda an opposite to a 'grower' for me
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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ill get a lot of boos for this, but Led Zeppelin IV takes it for me.
Boo!

Nah, Ill admit Zeppelin IV's one of the most solid albums out there, front to back. Im just glad you didnt say "The Wall".



And its funny how polarizing Aeroplane is, people either adore it or despise it, reminds me alot of "Catcher In The Rye", peoples opinions of it.
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