Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
A&C Black, 16 nov. 2005 - 104 páginas
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.