So, this album is something different from what I usualy find myself listening to. Built on an acoustic folk foundation, but adding other instruments such as horns, organs, accordions, banjo and zanziphones, gives this band something different, sometimes they seem like a marching band. The vocals also seem emotional (although a lot of the time I don't know what's being sung), but never go that step further and become whiney. For me, the vocals are one of the best points about this album, complementing the acoustic guitar work perfectly. The production isn't the best standard, but this adds effect to the songs, and adds to the honesty of the music.
Although at first listen, many of these tracks may seem similar, there is actually quite a range of tracks, from Holland, 1945, probably the most catchy song on here, to The Fool, showing of Neutral Milk Hotel's...err..marching band qualities. The singer, Jeff Magnum, proclaims his love for Christ on the song King of Carrot Flowers, Parts 2&3, while demonstrating his subtlety on Communist Daughter, which has a great use of horns (or whatever that instrument is, the scope of instruments used on this album is quite large), which add to the song, and add Neutral Milk Hotel's own stamp on the acoustic ballad. A special mention must also be given to [Untitled] , which uses electronic instruments, alongside the acoustic ones to produce something very interesting indeed.
Put simply, this is an extremely good album. Even though the lyrics may seem like nonsense, the way they are sung, you can't help but feel some kind of emotion. I don't know, maybe that was the idea in the first place. Even without looking at the lyrics, you can still somehow understand the emotion he is trying to convey. The songs flow into each other naturally, yet the album never seems like one song, such is the variety of the album. Although I don't know how well this album did upon its release, I am certain this should be remembered as one of the great albums of the nineties. But, then again, I doubt Jeff Magnum cares about sales of the album, and upon listening to this album, I think that maybe the band made this album made this record for themselves, rather than for anyone else.
However, to some, this album may be too different to what they listen to usualy for them to enjoy it. But, if you open your mind and take a listen, I'm sure that a lot of you would enjoy this album. It is calming yet never boring, energetic yet never out of control.
This is a great album that's just recently grown on me. Part two of King of Carrot Flowers always cracks me up "I love youuuuuuuuu Jesuuuuuuuuus chriissssssssst" and then of course the fuzz jam at the end is classic. It's really a worthwhile listen.
[QUOTE=moderaterock222]Could have been more in depth in the review, like a song by song..[/QUOTE]
Bah. I find song-by-song reviews to not be very helpful, unless the band does songs with very different styles. An overall description of the album's style along with mentions of the better songs works a lot better for me.
But anyway... Great album, probably my favorite from the whole Elephant 6 thing. I need to check out their other albums, this is still the only one I've heard...
[QUOTE=Kaden]I'd probably give it a 4/5. On another note: am I the only one who loves his lyrics?[/QUOTE]
I'd hope not. In my opinion, the lyrics are the strong part of the music. I love a song like olland 1945 where somehow the song can be incredibly upbeat and catchy, but the lyrics are rather depressing.
I love this CD, originally heard it a few months ago while in spain and couldn't get enough of it. Oh Comely has possibly the greatest lyrics to any song I've ever heard. This band doesn't go over too well with people who don't listen to alot of wierd music, especially Holland, 1945.
There's some debate about whether or not this CD is actually about Anne Frank. It's easy to argue both for and against it.