NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL – GHOST/UNTITLED
One of the greatest albums there ever was or ever will be, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, is far from a hidden gem. But this particular blog is not for the avid music collector, not for the Pitchfork readers, it’s actually not for anyone other than my big brother. My big bro, Ryan, has introduced me to so much great music over the years (A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Coldplay, Wintersleep etc) and has shared my love for great bands (Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The National, U2 etc). But Ryan is also a very busy man, and never quite had the time I did to go fishing for the best of the best. This is why he does not own any Neutral Milk Hotel, and this is why I dedicate this blog to getting my brother into Jeff Mangum and all his wonders. It seems like fate, as I only heard this 1998 album in 2007 because my younger brother Tim introduced it to me. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a critically acclaimed masterpiece created by Jeff Mangum, and is widely considered to be inspired by the life of Anne Frank (Mangum was greatly influenced by her diary). It is grand in scope, being dark, chaotic, cathartic, romantic, perverse, and gentle all at the same time. It was a major inspiration for Arcade Fire, particularly in its Baroque sound, its use of a multitude of different instruments, and its willingness to build to great heights and then shift quickly into a different mood. It is also simply incredible. All the songs are brilliant, but I am especially fond of the combination of Ghost and Untitled. So Ryan, follow your destiny, and check out these tracks.