Monday, November 15, 2010

Neutral Milk Hotel

This cannot be said enough.  And hence, I lift this from the Paris Review blog, Friday staff picks edition:

Noting that Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is one of the great albums of the nineties is generally about as controversial as noting the importance of oxygen in human respiration. What’s amazing, though, is how the album has lost none of its immediacy or raw beauty twelve years after its release. By way of contrast, some of the other monuments of nineties indie rock—Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted, Rodan’s Rusty, Superchunk’s On the Mouth (insert your own here)—are still exceptional records, but they bear the mark of their time. In some respects, this is how it should be. But In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a different case altogether. Anne Frank’s ghost haunts the record, but the real story is how Jeff Mangum’s utterly strange poetry (“king of carrot flowers,” anyone?) is the perfect language for the fleshy, sticky, ashy, and ultimately wonderous side of intimate experience. Because, still today, how better to describe that moment where you've woken smiling next to your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend? Listen to Mangum sing “What a beautiful face / I have found in this place / That is circling all round the sun.” Then listen to the entire album, start to finish. What you’re feeling isn’t nostalgia. It’s awe. —Peter Conroy

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Yes and yes.

I want more Jeff Mangum~

Alas, what fuels his genius is not mandatory record contracts.

I shall be patient.