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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful discovery
I stumbled across this recently. I have to admit that like most people this one had completely passed me by. This is an exceptional album. Utterly exceptional. I can honestly say that this must be one of the best albums I've ever heard. Just such a shame that it has taken so long to get to hear it. How Jeff Mangum didn't make it big I don't know (maybe the bands...
Published on 16 Sep 2006 by Mike J. Wheeler

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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Different View
I hate to be the one who goes against the grain on this - but I feel slightly disappointed by this one. I bought this album off the strength of the reviews alone as I have done with many others. I just feel it has been over-hyped - some reviews speak of this being `contender for the best album in the world ever' 'Close to perfection'- very strong words...really does...
Published on 17 May 2007 by D. Thompson


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Strange, Great Joy, 3 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I've just put this album on after not owning it for about three years ...and am momentarily amazed by how I coped by not hearing it more often. Much has already been said about it but, in this album, you have a strange hybrid of different strands of music.. obviously there is an indie sensibility behind it, you have overdriven guitar, a chugginess to the acoustic guitars, mad horn breaks and such a tremendous, joyous pace to everything, topped by the mad whimsy of Jeff Mangum's vocal and lyrics that go where no lyrics have gone before. But there is a truth to the imagery he relates, borne of the conviction of his voice... in fact you won't come across this particular kind of sincerity in pop music very often, he tells stories, has visions, creates moods, evokes histories. I don't think I've heard an album opener so convinced of its own vision than 'The King of Carrot Flowers'. It is strange and beautiful to experience songs of such utter confidence, and part of what makes this record all the more pleasurable. If I have any conception of heaven it might be more than several large glasses of freezer-cold gewurtztraminer, a breezy summer day and this album played at full volume through resolutely open windows.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums you have never heard of, 23 Dec 2003
By 
This review is from: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Audio CD)
I am an enthusiastic fan of all sorts of music, and this must be one of my favourite cds of all time. first heard it on internet radio, bought the album and just couldnt stop listening to it. Amazingly affecting songs, great rock music. Why won't he make another record, dammit ?
Getting into it, especially due its unwarranted obscurity, it is like listening late at night to the radio and accidentally coming across a station from somewhere fabulous you have never been to and don't know how to get to. Can anyone else hear this music ? A bit florid, but the record is so moving.
If your ears are open you will love this record.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I get it, I love it., 18 Jan 2013
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a monumental discovery that seems to inspire either love or hate. For me I was instantly drawn to Jeff Mangum's off-key singing and sometimes strained voice that he bravely chose to leave in the tracks rather than go for take after take until smoothed perfection was reached.

Okay, an album written as a paean to the life and times of Anne Frank by an indy-noodler in the mid 90's isn't going to go down well in all corners but hey, you need a concept, right?

Mangum is a man of towering lyrical ability and an ear for a scratchy, corn fed tune that injects itself straight into the deeper recesses of the brain.

The last time I felt shivers like this was when I first discovered War of the Worlds as a youngster.

I challenge you try this record and give it a whirl, if you are a 'muso' you owe it to yourself.

Mangum has produced an epic worthy of exploration.

Plus, there is a guy credited with 'white noise' in the sleeve notes. Nuff said.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slowly Being Discovered, 8 Feb 2012
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
In The Aeroplane is an album which didn't get much notice when it was first released. But gradually its word of mouth growth has given it a status that is that of a classic album. Listening to it you can struggle to understand why at first and some will dismiss this instantly. However, give it a chance and its a worthy addition to any record library.

Before me get to the album though lets uncover the legend that makes it almost more mythical. NMH are a band headed by Jeff Mangum. They are part of the so called Elephant 6 collective. This is their second album and after touring it for a while Jeff disappeared and the other members went off to form other bands. He resurfaced recently but various tales have him joining the circus, having a breakdown and all sorts. Whatever the truth he just isn't going to follow this up any time soon. Some of the appeal of this album almost certainly stems from that part of the story as much as the music.

So at last to the music. This is a proper album, sequenced and working as a piece. With horns, acoustic guitars and the heartfelt voice of Mangum. This is where bands like Arcade Fire got inspiration. Two Headed Boy is just Mangum and an acoustic guitar that starts at a frenetic rate and as the song continues slows down and reaches a halt at its conclusion. The exact opposite of many other songs you hear that build as they go along. Some songs are just heartfelt and painful (Oh Comely for instance). Others full or instrumentation and life (King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1 for example). Its supposed to be an album about Anne Frank and you heart that at times but the lyrics are very odd and I know some who are turned off by them.

For me I bought this on the word of mouth and have spread that word since. Some people take the chance and love it, other don't. This is certainly a very different album and you may not like it as much as the growing hype would have you believe. However, its a real gem in my opinion and deserves the praise its been given.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown Genius!, 28 Aug 2008
By 
R. Davies (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is an album I came to a couple of years ago through the volume of spectacular reviews a came across. Clearly this wasn't the usual over-hyped rock-lite fluff.

Everyone said it was magnificent. Everyone was right.

The difficulty is, I've not come across someone who's really put their finger on why it's so great.

For me, it's the passion with which Jeff Mangum delivers the guitar and vocals. He plays like his life depends on it. Maybe he needed to write the greatest album ever, and this is what came out?

The songs generally stick to a lo fi folky style including backing from a range of strings and brass, with a couple of diversions into scuzzy feedback rock. The two instrumentals are sublime, presenting times to pause and consider what you've just heard. This is especially important as the lyrics are somewhat unfathomable at first.

For me the stand out tracks are both parts of "Two Headed Boy", and the 8 minute epic "Oh Comely". However, other than "Oh Comely", in isolation, none of the songs seem that amazing. Together, they produce one of the greatest albums ever recorded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to cherish, 15 Nov 2006
By 
This review is from: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Audio CD)
Jeff Magnum is a bit odd. There's no denying that. We're talking Syd Barrett's "feeding his girlfriend cream crackers under the door" odd. You only have to hear the gloriously shouty vocals on "Two Headed Boy" to confirm his oddness. However just like Barrett there's a cracked genius behind all this.

This is an album on the surface mainly about Anne Frank, but once you've got the gist of what he's trying to say by using this as a metaphor, then you'll get drawn in and be entranced by some of the most moving pieces of music your ever likely to listen to.

The contribution by the musicians he's collected around him sometimes gets underestimated. It's all a bit of a jumble that somehow works as a whole, but your going to have to avoid trying to pigeonhole this into any particular genre, as it just won't fit anywhere.

I came across this only a couple of years ago when it was re-released, but it seems that it's something I've heard before I was born.

If you've got it you'll understand what I'm prattling on about. If you haven't got it, then shame on you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and brilliant, 4 Sep 2008
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Some good attemts on here to describe this work of genius in words but they are ultimately futile. It has to be heard really to be appreciated. Indescribably great. Shame that Jeff fell silent after this release.
Certainly my number 1 album of all time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good things come to those who wait, 8 May 2006
By 
Mr. G. Piggott (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Nothing worthwhile comes easy in life, and so it is with this album. If you want something jolly to listen to three times a year for a dinner party then do not buy this album.

This album has an appealing simplicity about it, but is at the same time incredibly deep and personal. It's personal to Magnum, but it can be personal to the listener if you let it, and can be more addictive than any drug you care to mention.

If you are prepared to give it a chance it will give you back so much more than you put into it.

For anyone that is seriously into proper music and want more out of your music than a catchy melody, then this is a must have for your record collection. Just don't give up on the third listen please.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly an aeroplane, 8 Jan 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Jeff Mangum is the King of Carrot Flowers. Or at least, the king of his own brand of innocently psychedelic dream-rock. The second full-length album from the endearingly weird Neutral Milk Hotel is not as lo-fi as "From Avery Island," but its beauty and dreaminess are still untouched.
Steady guitar strums start off "The King of Carrot Flowers Part 1," before blossoming into the eerie, spirituality-themed "King of Carrot Flowers Part 2 & 3." Following it up the somehow inspiring "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea," the grim trumpeting of "The Fool," and the rousing folky-carnival bombast of "Holland, 1945."
Crickets, screams and a gentle guitar melody start "Communist Daughter," followed by the wailing "Oh Comely," magnificently fuzzy "Ghost," and the eerie tenth track, which doesn't have a title -- a catchy, indescribable mix of fuzz guitar and funhouse melodies. The album ends on a strong note with "Two Headed Boy Part 2," with its haunted-house opener woven out of horns, which melts away behind Mangum's final ballad.
Neutral Milk Hotel is one of those bands that will steal your heart, or send you howling from the room. There's no middle ground. It's an acid-tinged dream of spirituality, sex, chaos, rebirth and beauty, full of girls with roses in their eyes and ghosts flying over stormy cities.
The music tends to be of two types. On one hand, we have Mangum's laid-back folky ballads; they are sometimes laced with other instruments, but the core is his acoustic guitar and his off-kilter voice. And then there are the swirling panoramas of brass-band, fuzz guitar, accordians, white noise, organ and musical saw, among others. These bizarre melodies are entrancing, almost hypnotic, and the catchier ones sound like the soundtrack of a carnival.
Mangum's voice is a weird one. It isn't very good, and he can't hold the notes (his wail of "I loooove you Jeeesusss Chrrriiiisst" is outrageously funny). But it meshes into the music as if his vocals were tailor-made for it. And the lyrics are full of weird things that somehow strike a chord in the listener, as if Mangum has tapped into your strangest dreams, ranging from the childlike wonder of "King of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 & 3" to the wistful: "Now she's a little boy in Spain/Playing pianos filled with flames/On empty rings around the sun/All sing to say my dream has come..."
Full of psychedelic brass bands and folky songs about children with wings, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is a rare, magnificent album without a single unworthy song. Beautiful, strange and wondrous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 11 Sep 2007
i have never been any good at this type of thing. i heard this album played in a little pub and my friends were telling me how amazing it is. so i bought it of amazon it took 6 weeks to arrive. that night i played it 15 times over. i fell in love in love with it, the sheer brilliance and the passion makes this album amazing. two headed boy, "in the dark we will take of our cloths and we'll be placing fingers through the notches in you spine". brilliance

you can buy this for anyone and any song is for any occasion. and you almost desipher the songs meanings and make your own conclusion from them.
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