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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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|In the Aeroplane Over the Sea|
|Studio album by Neutral Milk Hotel|
|Released||February 10, 1998|
|Recorded||July–September 1997, Pet Sounds Studio, Denver, Colorado|
|Genre||Indie rock, folk rock, psychedelic folk, psychedelic pop, lo-fi|
|Neutral Milk Hotel chronology|
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the second and final album by American indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel, released in the United States on February 10, 1998 on Merge Records. The album was released in the United Kingdom in May 1998 on Blue Rose Records.
Jeff Mangum moved from Athens, Georgia to Denver, Colorado to prepare the bulk of the album's material with producer Robert Schneider, this time at Schneider's newly created Pet Sounds Studio at the home of Jim McIntyre.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is widely considered to be written about Anne Frank due to lyrics seemingly referring to her, such as lines referring to her birth and death dates. Though the group has never officially stated that the album is indeed about Frank, it is a popular theory among fans, and Jeff Mangum has mentioned the influence her diary has made on his craft and outright referred to "Holland, 1945" being about her while performing live.
The album's iconic cover was a collaboration between Mangum and R.E.M.'s staff designer, Chris Bilheimer. The general design reflects the taste of Mangum: Bryan Poole said that "Mangum was always into that old-timey, magic, semi-circus, turn-of-the-century, penny arcade kind of imagery." One particular piece Mangum showed to Bilheimer was an old European postcard with an image of people bathing at a resort, which was then cropped and altered for the cover. Bilheimer also designed a broadsheet-style lyrics sheet for the album, and inadvertently titled "Holland, 1945" in the process; Mangum wanted to use either "Holland" or "1945" for the song, and Bilheimer suggested he use both.
|Pitchfork Media (2005)||(10/10) |
|Rolling Stone (2005)|||
|Tiny Mix Tapes|||
Initial reviews of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea were mixed. A review in the College Music Journal called Aeroplane a "A true lo-fi pop landmark" and cited "Holland, 1945" as a highlight. Pitchfork Media's M. Christian McDermott gave the album an 8.7 out of 10, referring to Neutral Milk Hotel as "one psych-rock band making music that's just as catchy as it is frightening" and said that the album "does a credible job of blending Sgt. Pepper with early 90's lo-fi." A review by Ben Ratliff in Rolling Stone was more negative: "Unfortunately, Mangum went straight for the advanced course in aura and texture, skipping basic training in form and selfediting. [...] He sings loudly, straining the limits of an affectless voice. [...] For those not completely sold on its folk charm, Aeroplane is thin-blooded, woolgathering stuff."
Jason Ankeny of Allmusic wrote, "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." Ankeny also praised Mangum's vocals as "far more emotive" than they were on On Avery Island, but criticized the lyrics as vague in meaning, saying, "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." Robert Christgau rated the album a "Neither", and while he later wrote that the album "convinced alt diehards that maturity can be just as weird as growing up", he also called it "a funereal jape that gets my goat."
The third track of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. This sample contains a portion of the song's second verse. Evident are the driving acoustic guitar progressions and the use of a multitracked singing saw.
|Problems listening to these files? See media help.|
Subsequent reviews from Pitchfork Media and Rolling Stone were more positive; the latter gave the album four of five stars in its 2004 The New Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition, with reviewer Roni Sarig writing, "Mangum had put together something resembling an actual band, resulting in a far richer and more organic sound [than On Avery Island]. What's more, the songwriting had blossomed far beyond the bounds of Elephant 6 (or indie rock as a whole), with Mangum etching out timeless transcendentalist pop steeped in a century of American music (from funeral marches to driving punk)." Sarig also commended the album for its "passionate acoustic-guitar strums, irresistible melodies, and lyrics that rarely feel obtuse even when they're nonsensical." Pitchfork, in a 2005 review written by Mark Richardson, gave the album a perfect score. Richardson praised the album's lyrical directness and "kaleidoscopic" musical style. PopMatters named a reissue of the album one of the best of 2005, and wrote, "Aeroplane is a manifesto for a different way of making pop. To hear 'Two-Headed Boy' in 2005 is to realize that Mangum's art is simply superb songwriting. But most of the record adds an ingenious mixture of accordion, brass, organ, fuzzed-out guitars, tape, and other glorious miscellanea."
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler named Aeroplane as a chief reason that his band signed to Merge. Jesse Lacey of Brand New called In the Aeroplane Over the Sea "the greatest record ever written", and has covered "Holland, 1945", "Oh Comely", and "Two-Headed Boy, Part Two" in concert. In early 2009, Plan-It-X Records artist Madeline Ava covered the entire In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album on ukulele. In August 2010 The Swell Season covered "Two-Headed Boy" for The AV Club. In 2010 a group called Neutral Uke Hotel began touring playing ukulele covers of all the songs on the album.
|1.||"The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One"||2:00|
|2.||"The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three" (Jeremy Barnes, Julian Koster, Jeff Mangum, Scott Spillane)||3:06|
|3.||"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"||3:22|
|5.||"The Fool" (Spillane)||1:53|
|11.||"Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two"||5:13|
|Amazon.com||United States||The 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time||2009||#2|
|Blender||U.S.||100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever||2007||#32|
|Entertainment Weekly||U.S.||Indie Rock 25||2008||
|Magnet||U.S.||Top 60 Albums, 1993-2003||2003||#1|
|Nude as the News||U.S.||The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the 90s||1999||#3|
|Pitchfork Media||U.S.||Top 100 Albums of the 1990s||2003||#4|
|Q magazine||United Kingdom||Top 30 Albums of the Past 25 Years||2010||#16|
|Spin||U.S.||100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005||2005||#97|
|Village Voice||U.S.||Pazz & Jop: Albums of the Year||1998||#15|
(*) denotes an unranked list.