Most helpful positive review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Direct and Informative
on 30 December 2006
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea has claimed a very special place in my heart, but I must admit I was a little sceptical when I discovered this book; I couldn't really see how someone could write anything about it that would really add anything to my enjoyment of the album or make for a really worthwhile read. However, my curiousity and the cheap price led me to a purchase, and I was happily surprised.
It's obvious that Kim Cooper has just fallen in love with Neutral Milk Hotel's second album in the way that I imagine you have, if you're reading this. The writing is thoughtful and direct, and enthusiastic without being too immaturely praiseworthy of the album; the writer just seems passionate about learning as much about NMH as she can, and sharing it with you as you read. It's very engaging and in just over 100 to-the-point pages it covers pretty much everything you'd want to know, from the musician's childhoods, to how the band formed, to how the beautiful songs from In The Aeroplane.. arose. There's then a detailed section on the album itself, focusing on the songs and the artwork. Finally it gets onto what happened after the album was released and all the subsequent touring, and gives an explanation of why Jeff Mangum decided to step back out of the spotlight.
Most of the precise information comes from interviews carried out by Kim Cooper which are included seamlessly in the book, and she managed to find all the right people. The only key figure who doesn't contribute to the book is Jeff Mangum, but that isn't really suprising, and you imagine that Kim Cooper tried but eventually just respected his privacy.
You'll no doubt have gathered that this book is only going to appeal to die-hard fans of Neutral Milk Hotel and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, but if that's you this provides a fascinating and well-written glimpse into what went into such a tremendous album. Definitely recommended.