- Brian Burgess and Patrick Morey
Album: In the Aeroplane over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the second and final album released by the industrial-fuzz-folk 90’s band Neutral Milk Hotel. Released in 1998, the record displays the band’s intriguing mixture of acoustic guitar progressions with high-minded lyrics and Beatle-esque peripheral sounds. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, one cannot fully appreciate this album without listening to it on 180-gram vinyl (the best vinyl you can get), because this not a record you can listen to while brushing your teeth with one ear bud in. Today’s lousy, digitally compressed music lacks the grainy, antique sonic love that the band packs in.
Each rotation of the turntable releases the folk roots of Neutral Milk Hotel, with quirky song titles as “King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One” and the title track “In the Aeroplane over the Sea,” that have a distinct lo-fi feel with scratchy vocals and strong horns. While some of the band’s songs highlight Mangum’s honest, thoughtful lyrics and voice, songs like “Untitled” feature the band’s instrumental genius with various horns and guitar riffs – with no vocals at all.
The work on In the Aeroplane over the Sea is a love-it or hate-it record. In the vein of bands like 90′s bands like Pavement, this is for the good lyrics, quirky music lover.
Some have said that this is singer and song writer Jeff Mangum’s worst album of all time, with little to no lyrical meaning, while others view this as Mangum’s greatest success in the music industry. Only a great work of art could cause such confusion!
- Photo courtesy www.neutralmilkhotel.net