Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

5/5

1998

Tightening up the excesses of On Avery Island, Jeff Mangum ended up creating one of the cornerstones of 90s indie rock with Neutral Milk Hotel’s second full-length, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. While still rooted in psychedelia, lo-fi noise pop, and folk, Mangum here achieves a greater sense of clarity in his songwriting, no matter if he is paring his arrangements down to solo acoustic work or allowing his band to play to ecstatic climaxes. This, in turn, puts focus on the most notable feature of Aeroplane: Mangum’s startlingly cathartic vocal style, which ranges from trembling whisper to unrestrained wail, emphasizing his abstract words.  While his stream-of-consciousness lyrics have no concrete meaning, his imagery is consistently striking, whether it be depictions of sexuality (“Two Headed Boy”), life and death (“Ghost”), or religion (“The King Of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2 & 3”). All this can make the album quite demanding—casual listeners may be turned off by Mangum’s eccentric voice and lyrics—but it is one that profoundly rewards upon repeated spins. While In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is frequently harrowing, songs like the jaunty title track make it an ultimately life-affirming listen, one that greatly helped shape the alternative and indie scenes in the following decade.

Advertisements

Posted on November 17, 2010, in Neutral Milk Hotel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. wait, shit. you’re my hero.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: