In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)
Brilliance doesn't always breed longevity. This has been painfully obvious with Neutral Milk Hotel, who have not released and album in 12 years. Still, one has to wonder, how would they follow this up? In The Aeroplane... is the greatest indie album of all time, a fully realized concept of art, lyrics, music and Jeff Magnum's haunting voice. Granted, it has been great seeing his sightings reported on and swooned over in the last few years. Pitchfork, Stereogum and the rest of the blog big-wiggers keep hoping for that miraculous reunion with new material. I don't believe it will ever come. Like Chinese Democracy has proven, even if an album is pretty damn good, it simply cannot live up to the hype of an over-a-decade long wait. It's in their best interest not to release anything at this point. It's all right though. We will never have to say Neutral Milk Hotel lost its power over time. They released their perfect album and faded into the ether. Listening to the title track, you don't even feel the need to hope for more. Why would you when what you have in front of you will never get old? It will always be fresh, stunning and perfect.