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This review is from: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Audio CD)
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.