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In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

5 Sep 2005
4.5 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews
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7 1:57
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8 8:18
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9 4:08
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10 2:17
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11 5:13
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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 name!?).

The album is ostensibly a collection of songs inspired by events in World War II and particularly about treatment of Jews and Anne Frank in particular. If this sounds a bit heavy don't worry - musically this work is superbly bright and inventive whilst lyrically it is both fantastically provocative and profound.

Whilst based around the acoustic guitar playing of Mangum, the music benefits from multilayered instumentation including some excellent brass. The pace varies from the slow but heartfelt "Communist Daughter" and "Oh Comely" to the fast rock of "King of Carrot Flowers, Pts 2 and 3" via jazzy interludes of "Holland, 1945". Standout tracks are "Two Headed Boy", "King of Carrot Flowers" and "In the Aeroplane Over The Sea". However all of the tracks here are excellent. Wherever you look on this album there is inventiveness and originality. You can see how this may have influenced later artists as varied as Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens.

A wonderful discovery. A definite buy for anyone who likes good music.

10/10. This is by a long way my favourite album. In the few years since I wrote this I really think it's discovery has in many ways affected me and the way I've lived my life. It awakened a passion for music I didn't really know was there. Truly a one off.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't know what has led you to this page, Neutral Milk Hotel are far from a well-known act and so I'm guessing it must either be a sheer stroke of good luck, or you've been given a tip off about it. Either way, your life is about to get better.
It's hard to pigeon-hole where the sound comes from - the other reviewers may do a better job than I will about describing precisely what it's like. The best way I can describe it, I think, is to say that it's discordantly beautiful. There's a near-riot of instruments battling each other for your attention, filling your ears with conflicting sounds but somehow coming out the other end in perfect harmony as they do so. It's also worth noting that it's far from your typically over-produced fare - nobody has spent three days tweaking the drum rhythms to get them precisely right so that they appeal to the widest cross-section of the target audience. Nobody has fiddled with sliders to get his voice spot onto each note. This is raw music, mainlining the melodies, the rhythms, and most of all the emotion straight from source. Joyous, sorrowful, imaginative, perceptive, evocative... it reaches inside you and yanks your soul awake and reminds you that you're alive. Like watching a flower grow in that fast-motion style that can make months pass in seconds - organic, natural, beautiful, and most of all full of the throb and pulse of Life with a capital L.
I just know that I think this is the best album I own, and probably will ever own, and that everybody I know who is fortunate enough to have found In The Aeroplane Over The Sea feels the same way. I don't know what Jeff Mangun did before this, and I don't know what he did after this. Very probably he never hit these heights, but right here on this little silver disc he produces a work of unique unrepeatable genius.
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Format: Audio CD
It is entirely possible that you will hate this album, I wouldn't question you if you did and you'd probably have your reasons. The music can be a catastrophe of angular sounds and jangling notes, the singing can be out of tune and raw and the lyrics are nothing short of baffling without serious investigation into the albums ideas.

But I don't know what it is about all of these things coming together that immobilises me from start to finish, unable to think outside the sounds presented to me. Upon first listening I left this album exhausted and with tears in my eyes. It's simply an overwhelmingly significant piece of music, every song being distinct and memorable with enough worthwhile content to write a review ten times the length of this for each one. If by and chance you could like this album then you owe it to yourself to buy it and make sure, because you may be missing out on something that could be very special to you.
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Format: Audio CD
I first heard of Neutral Milk Hotel back in the summer of 1998. In a bar in Victoria, Vancouver Island a locaquious American chap, from Athens GA, was extolling the virtues of this group and their fellow Elephant 6 collective luminaries, Olivia Tremor Control, with evangelical zeal.

8 years on from that back-packing trip, after keeping In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in a holding pattern on the "must buy albums" radar, I finally succumbed to its burgeoning cult status and bought a copy last month.

I think I'm not alone in that I too experienced a tipping-point whereby the hitherto catterwaul of Jeff Magnum's voice, the falling-down-the stairs brass section and seemingly unfussy production suddenly became a majestic and beautiful suite of tunes. The melodies stick like glue and the lyrics, possibly plucked from David Lynch's notepad, are deeply moving. You are probably aware of the Anne Frank storyline and some of the imagery evoked by Magnum's lyrics is a million miles away from the usual pap found in chart twaddle.

If you do buy it, please give it time and be sure to listen to it end-to-end. My only regret is not giving this amazing record permission to land a good few years earlier.
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