History: If you're a vinyl collector you might have considered or bought this album making it one of the best selling albums in the past few years since the resurgence of vinyl. Much of the lyrics on this album seem to be referring to Anne Frank. Everything from her birth, death, and even beliefs are mentioned in the lyrics. Most of the critical review for the album as been great since it's release in 1998.
Vocals: Jeff Mangum seemed to have vocals that sounded a lot like the ones you would hear coming from Athens, Ga. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure people from all over the U.S. have the same type of vocals but there is something about them that make me first think of that city. There are some songs that I enjoy his vocals in and some like 'Oh Comely" that I just thought it was too much too long of one tone. For the shorter songs his vocals is something to be heard though.
Instrumentals: There are a huge amount of instruments used on the album that make it sound unique. The guitars, the drums, the brass, bass, and everything else used are just truly unique and sound arranged well. You have such a huge list of people credited with putting this album together. Beirut's lineup reminds me a lot of this. My favorite part was the brass section though that is added into many of the songs including my still favorite song from the album, the title track.
Recording: The album was recorded in 1998, but I think because the band took a creative approach to the instruments they chose to put on the album, and mixing in the folk sound that it makes the album timeless in sound. As I was was listening to this album I could not place the year that it was made in till I looked it up myself.
Neutral Milk Hotel comes out with an album that is overall strong in tone and has some of the most oddly arranged lyrics you'll hear. There is something about it that is very suiting for a drive home while the sun sets. It encompasses many feelings while you're listening in a somber yet dreamy way. I was glad to listen to an album that didn't let me down.
Rating 8 of 10.