Opening with the achingly gorgeous nostalgia of “The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1”,Aeroplane immediately plays upon a potent conflation of cultural and personal past. The world of Aeroplane is haunted by Anne Frank– the specter of childhood’s unimpeachable innocence amidst the unfathomable horror of the holocaust. In the feverish “Oh Comely”, Mangum longs to save her in “some sort of time machine.” By “Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2”, the album’s indelible and heartbreaking closing track, he seems to have resigned himself to loving a ghost, singing with a thoroughly unnerving blend of heartbreak and exhaustion: “In my dreams you’re alive, and you’re crying/ As your mouth moves in mine, soft and sweet.” The way people have been affected byAeroplane is ample proof of its power and uniqueness. Like all classic art, it is widely misunderstood; yet to some, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has become a riddle the likes of The Wasteland— an impossibly rich text that begs to be deciphered, yet continually evades any singular interpretation.”
It took me years to click with Neutral Milk Hotel, as Jeff Mangum’s voice can sound awful in passing, but when it did click – my god! It was like like the clouds parted and angels in party hats slid down a huge slide from the heavens, made out of rainbows and joy.
I’m also finding it hard to choose a song to post, as there’s no official youtubes for any of them – so I’ve gone for the simple option: