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Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Label: Merge Records
Release: 1998

Tracklisting:
King of Carrot Flowers pt. 1
King of Carrot Flowers pt. 2 & 3
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Two-Headed Boy
The Fool
Holland, 1945
Communist Daughter
Oh Comely
Ghost
Untitled
Two-Headed Boy pt. 2
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
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Average Blamo User Rating: (34 votes)

If you ever have needed proof that pure and simple expression of emotion can transcend time and space and even understanding and touch you at the very core of your soul, this will album will grant you that tangible plastic evidence. Quite simply, this album is a document of the power inherent in the human soul to disregard context, language, even simple common sense and just move you in a profound and indescribable way. Am I over selling this album? Probably. But I have (at present) 325+ CD’s in my collection, that encompasses some of the most critically acclaimed, historically important and popularly beloved pieces of audio recording that have been put out in past 80 years and this album consistently emerges as not only one of my all time favorite albums, but my most commonly played.
To take the words held here on these recording as literally as you can, this album is about Anne Frank and her family, her subsequent fate and her following resurrection as “a boy who lives in Spain/ Playing Piano’s filled with flame”… yeah, I know… what the fuck? This recording is chalk full of buzzing organs and bass’s, wailing horns and various other indescribable psychedelic meanderings. But despite the seemingly pretentious trappings of psychedelic musical canoodling and concept album self indulgence this album is simple as special Charlie who spends time down by the corner store, as accessible as you bosses pin number, as infectious as a cold and has the staying power of a late stage cancer or herpes simplex. Indeed this album does not hide in the expected pretense of it’s arrangements or concepts, but instead revels in plain accessibility of melody, simple chords and powerful emotive playing by the bands voice and creative center Jeff Mangum. This album isn’t really anything more than a man and his acoustic guitar, spilling his heart and soul on to tape, and as vague and convoluted as the lyrics may be the power of Jeff Mangum’s simple and brutal honesty crushes all the walls of pretense and intellect that the listener holds and pulls you away with the current of his expression.
The lyrics on this album allude to bizarre and surreal images of deformity, grotesque constructs of flesh and the blackest shames of our collective human history. But this is a message of hope for anything and everything. “What a beautiful face I have found in this place/ That is circling all round the sun/ And when we meet on a cloud I'll be laughing out loud/ I'll be laughing with everyone I see/ Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all” Mangum proclaims in the title track, indeed a message of love and hope, not ignorant of, but in spite of all the pain and tragedy that are so a part of the human condition, the sheer majesty and impossibility of existence outshines all the shadows of our shortcomings, and as long as there is a voice of beauty and truth, it is all, somehow justifiable… this album is one of those voices

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