In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

( 24 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
Perhaps best likened to a marching band on an acid trip, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is another quixotic sonic parade; lo-fi yet lush, impenetrable yet wholly accessible, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is either the work of a genius or an utter crackpot, with the truth probably falling somewhere in between. Again teaming with producer Robert Schneider, Jeff Mangum invests the material here with new maturity and clarity; while the songs run continuously together, as they did on the previous On Avery Island, there is a much clearer sense of shifting dynamics from track to track, with a greater emphasis on structure and texture. Mangum's vocals are far more emotive as ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
Perhaps best likened to a marching band on an acid trip, Neutral Milk Hotel's second album is another quixotic sonic parade; lo-fi yet lush, impenetrable yet wholly accessible, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is either the work of a genius or an utter crackpot, with the truth probably falling somewhere in between. Again teaming with producer Robert Schneider, Jeff Mangum invests the material here with new maturity and clarity; while the songs run continuously together, as they did on the previous On Avery Island, there is a much clearer sense of shifting dynamics from track to track, with a greater emphasis on structure and texture. Mangum's vocals are far more emotive as well; whether caught in the rush of spiritual epiphany "The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two and Three" or in the grip of sexual anxiety "Two-Headed Boy", he sings with a new fervor, composed in equal measure of ecstasy and anguish. However, as his musical concepts continue to come into sharper focus, one hopes his stream-of-consciousness lyrical ideas soon begin to do the same; while Mangum spins his words with the rapid-fire intensity of a young Dylan, the songs are far too cryptic and abstract to fully sink in -- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is undoubtedly a major statement, but just what it's saying is anyone's guess.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/3/2009
  • Label: Merge Records
  • UPC: 673855013619
  • Catalog Number: 50136
  • Sales rank: 9,232

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neutral Milk Hotel Primary Artist
Michelle Anderson uillean pipes
Jeff Mangum Organ, Guitar, Vocals, Bowed Bass, Floor Tom, Shortwave Radio
Julian Koster Accordion, Bowed Banjo, Singing Saw
Merisa Bissinger Flugelhorn, Saxophone
Laura Carter Zanzithophone
Scott Spillane Trombone, Trumpet, Euphonium, Flugelhorn
Jeremy Barnes Organ, Drums
Rick Benjamin Trombone
Technical Credits
Brian Dewan Illustrations
Jeff Mangum Art Direction
Robert Schneider Producer
Julian Koster Contributor
Chris Bilheimer Art Direction
Scott Spillane Horn Arrangements
Brian McPhee Contributor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The only girl I've ever loved....

    This album is, in a word, "perfect." Not only is it a classic indie-rock gateway drug, but it sucessfully evokes the familiarity, as well as the uniqueness, of a truly great album. Jeff Magnum's lyrics are superb, weaving in and out of innuendos and blashpemies, while also creating the love-lorn world of characterization that you can dive right in to. The melodies and vocals are haunting, almost bordering on creepy, and the sounds dance around and crank like the gears and servos in a finely tuned machine. There is not one song I skip on this album, which I've absorbed many, many times. The tracks never get old. Comparatively, my number one album, "If You're Feeling Sinister" by Belle and Sebastian, has certain tracks that I do skip because I've heard them way too many times. The only reason it eeks out this one is because, like all good personalized selections, that album "spoke" to me a bit more. But that is not to say that "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" is not a masterpiece. It certainly is. In fact, I would venture to say it is one of the most imaginative, creative, haunting, memorable, and distinctive albums of the past twenty years. It's that damn good. Check it out, you won't regret it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    6 Stars

    A masterpiece.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

    Standing as one of the pinnacles of indie rock and 90's music in general, Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a triumph. Using the similar aesthetic he used with On Avery Island (marching band horn parts, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, lo-fi production), Jeff Mangum fouses up a little bit here musically. The songs run continually into each other but instead the songs are more focused on textured sounds which give the songs more depth than ever before. Mangum also sings with much more power causing songs like "Ghost" to burst at the seams with catharsis. It is truly a masterpiece.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    greatest album ever made

    a deeply emotional, top-to-bottom classic. inventive instrumentation and beautifully evocative lyrics. this will shake your soul.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best of lo-fo

    The 3rd song "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" is one of the best songs of the 1990s.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

    If you have a brain you'll like this album. It's amazing. The songs are in perfect order... everything is great.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nearing perfection

    Jeff Mangum sings the things most of us don't dare say aloud. And beautifully. And tragically. This album is one of the few in my collection that I can throw own no matter what mood I'm in. It's almost flawless. It may not appeal to everyone's tastes, but everyone I know who likes it LOVES IT.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    fuzzy gold

    this is not an album for those with narrow attention spans. if you enjoy something a little more anthemic, try the 'everything is' EP

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Indie albulm of the 90's?

    clashing. I wondered about his voice and if those horns really went that song at all? After my first time with the record I did not listen to it for several weeks until I stumbled across the CD again I once again gave it a try and it just clicked. The sounds started to come togeather and it was just pure joy to listen to the CD all the way through. I personally believe that the King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1., In the Aeroplande over the sea, Holland 1945, and Communist Daughter are the true High lights of the CD. If you give the Cd some time and just listen it will just be an amazing experinece I havent really felt since poping in OK computer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not good

    I didn't like any of the songs.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THIS IS NOT A MESS!!!

    Clearly, this is a near frozen distillation of the artists ego and pride.sure, we all have secret songs that we keep wrapped in boxes so tight sounding only at night as we sleep, but these songs will take the listener on a journey so unexpected it is difficult to explain. Enjoy NMH for as long as you can and remember they will be there when you need them. Hailing all who are exiled.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Scars in the sky from the wounds of your hands

    This is a voice from the ground. Neutral Milk Hotel is a rare find that is often beautiful in sound and word. Jeff Mangum's lyrics construct an alternate existance of emaciated logic and impressionistic images that draws the listener closer without ever providing a complete explaination. They can seem pleasantly child-like and disturbing at once. The songs can be like a dream that you certainly don't want to be awoken from.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    just great!

    there's such an odd complexity to this album. a certain sense of innosence and wide-eyed wonder. the feeling that your far far away in another place. a soft undercurrent of magnificence to every song. such creativity and precious lyrics!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully achingly raw

    A really terrific person turned me on to these guys and while I love On Avery Island, I agree that Aeroplane is the better album. I think I'm in love, well, at least I should be after listening to such beauty filled angst.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    neutral milk hotel

    best band that you've never herd of. if i could i'd do nothing but listen to this all day long. but i cant cause then i'd die of starviasion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews