In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a brilliant album. I don't see how anyone could not enjoy the hell out of it. This album is the epitome on that you don't need great musicianship in order to create a masterpiece. All it takes, as Mangum powerfully shows, is putting all of the possible heart you have inside of yourself into the album you're creating.
This is the album that made me want to actually pick up a guitar and make my own music. That's right, not even Radiohead possessed me to do that. Even if Neutral Milk Hotel only has simple three/four chord processions in their songs, it still inspired me greatly. Maybe it's because I knew that one day I would at least be that good at the guitar.
Within a couple listens the album found its way into my heart. It has become my second favorite of all time right behind Radiohead's OK Computer. Almost every single song that is on the album is practically a perfect song. In my opinion, nothing is weak at all. People might not like the whole "I love you Jesus Christ / Jesus Christ I love you", in "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2 and 3" but I love it. It's so oddly used and genius. Mangum once said in a concert that everyone has their doubts about Jesus but "it's still nice to sing about him once in a while". It's true. Yes, it is. Even if it's just for a laugh. Don't argue.
"The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. I" and "Two-Headed Boy" are two of my personal favorite songs ever. Ever since the beginning of listening to the album they were. But most recently, "Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2" has become my favorite song on the album. Mangum saves the best for last and sings his heart out. If you can't feel anything when he sings it, then you might as well be an android. "Untitled" is one of the best songs to dance to and just be happy while listening to. Before that song, I never knew that it was possible that bagpipes could seem so very... very cool.
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" is such a beautiful song. Beautifully produced as well. Singing saws should have been in style by now and used more often because of this album, but then most indie people who know NMH would just say you're copying them, even if they weren't the first band to use one. "Holland 1945" is the best fuzz folk song I've ever heard with some of the purest screaming vocals. It leads me to think that Mangum truly does love Anne Frank deep down inside.
The WWII world with Anne Frank as the basis in Jeff Mangum's mind for this album is just simply genius. People may find the whole Anne Frank thing silly, but sometimes just the simplest and silliest things can be more beloved than the difficult and sad-hearted.
Mangum doesn't really plan on making another album using the name Neutral Milk Hotel, but he really should get this band back together and make another great album. But who knows, maybe in a couple years he'll bounce back without us knowing and blow us away. Another album by Mangum may never top In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, but I'm sure no one would care. ItAOtS is a radiant album that should be listened to by all.