Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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A&C Black, Nov 16, 2005 - 104 pages
3 Reviews
Of all the recordings to emerge from the Athens-via-Denver collective called Elephant 6, Neutral Milk Hotel s second album is the one that has worked its way under the most skins. Magnet magazine named it the best album of the 1990s, and Creative Loafing recently devoted a cover story to one fan s quest to understand why band leader Jeff Mangum dropped out of sight soon after Aeroplane s release. The record sells steadily to an audience that finds it through word of mouth. Weird, beautiful, absorbing, difficult, In The Aeroplane Over the Sea is a surrealist text loosely based on the life, suffering and reincarnation of Anne Frank, with guest appearances from a pair of Siamese twins menaced by the cold and carnivores, a two-headed boy bobbing in a jar, anthropomorphic vegetables and a variety of immature erotic horrors. Mangum sings his dreamlike narratives with a dreamer's intensity, his creaky, off key voice occasionally breaking as he struggles to complete each dense couplet. The music is like nothing else in the 90s indie underground- a psychedelic brass band, its members self-taught, forging polychromatic washes of mood and tribute. The songs stick to one narrow key, the images repeat and circle back, and to listen is to be absorbed into a singular, heart-rending vision.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheAmpersand - LibraryThing

Kim Cooper's 33 1/3 entry on the Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea shouldn't be considered definitive: heck, an entire book -- or maybe a blog -- could be written about just the album ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mattmallard - LibraryThing

I felt like this captured a lot of information about the band, the locales, and the album without distilling the life from it, which I was worried about. This book covers the early years of the band ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Kim Cooper is the editrix of Scram, an occasional journal of unpopular culture dedicated to celebrating unjustly neglected artists in the worlds of music, literature, film/TV, comics and bohemia. With fellow 33 1/3 scribe David Smay, she is co-editor of the anthologies Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth and Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed. A third generation Angeleno, Kim offers offbeat bus tours of the city's crimes, literature and architectural gems through Esotouric, and blogs at the crime-a-day 1947project.

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