Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea



by USER (6 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 29 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Neutral Milk Hotel-In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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.


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user ratings (4305)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Knott- EMERITUS (5)
    And your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking, and dad would dream of all the ...

    Med57 EMERITUS (4.5)

    thebhoy EMERITUS (5)
    Some Sort of Time Machine: The Role of Time in a Work of Art, From the View of In the Aero...

    Athom EMERITUS (5)
    How strange it is to be anything at all......

  • BrentV (5)
    A beautiful, near-unparalleled masterpiece that, with a blistering vigilance, operatically...

    comissionerrr (5)
    One day we will die and out ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea. But for now we...

    taxidermist (5)
    World War II, Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust, Anne Frank, Neutral Milk Hotel’s magnum opus,...

    Misshaped (5)
    An eccentric but sincere indie rock classic....

  • indiancoffee (5)
    In the Aeroplane Over The Sea is not only a cult classic and an exceptional album, but it ...

    dupuisj8 (5)
    A powerful and human exploration into sound...

    Bsmith7 (5)
    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is one of the best albums I have heard. It's got a sound of ...

    HolidayKirk (5)
    Ben Thornburgh Presents! College Quizes of the Future....

  • Zebra (2)

    CompostCompote (2.5)
    What happens when white people from Louisiana are allowed to make music: A cautionary tale...

    AndrewKaster (4.5)
    A little too lo-fi for it's own good, but Mangum's baffling mind is completely unfolded he...

    Green Baron (5)
    She will live forever, all goes on and on and on...

  • Glokta (5)
    Pardon the errors (I'm drunk) but this album has none....

    crandynewman (2)
    Be prepared to be blessed with some of the best lyrics ever written, sung by the worst voi...

    madsmoon (5)
    Personal revelations on the greatest album ever....

Comments:Add a Comment 
Scott Herren
April 2nd 2004


Here is a reply. Nice album, one of my favorites. Pretty good review, although you didn't mention the title song which is my favorite.

April 2nd 2004


Could have been more in depth in the review, like a song by song..
Its a good album too, one ive discovered from this forum

May 9th 2004


Sounds interesting, if Indiana didn't suck so much I'd probably buy it, but I doubt if anyone has it here.

So I'll get it off the internet!

Dimes Make Dollars
May 9th 2004


"King of Carrot Flowers" (I forgot which part it is; it's the short acoustic one) is a great song, but it's all I've heard. I'll check this out, good review.

September 10th 2004


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.

I would probbaly give it a 4/5 right now

September 10th 2004


[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...

September 10th 2004


I hate this album.

September 11th 2004


I was going to buy this album today, but I passed and bought Live from Mars. I may pick it up tommorow though

Great review :thumb:

October 9th 2004


I'd probably give it a 4/5. On another note: am I the only one who loves his lyrics?

el doctor
October 9th 2004


[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.

October 9th 2004


Album Rating: 4.5

I heard these guys for the first time a couple weeks ago and I was really impressed. Excellent review.

October 9th 2004


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.

April 13th 2005


the lyrics actually do have a meaning, it's just really hard to access. Try

BlackDeathMetalJazz or really ANYTHING else please-
April 14th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

I think the lyrics are psychedelic in a way kind of Syd Barrettish you know?

Love this album...Great reveiiw.

April 14th 2005


I absolutely love this album. I would think of something else to say, but it's simply brilliant.

May 6th 2005


if you like these guys, which you should, then try the decemberists. i'm having trouble deciding who's better.

June 25th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

I used to have this and.....I don't know. Just didn't really grab me. I listened to it twice and was left with no opinion on it whatsoever.

August 18th 2005


So, I finally have the whole album.

If Jesus made an album, this would be it.

August 18th 2005


I hate this.

August 18th 2005


Haha, I didn't realize I'd already replied. Sorry about that.

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