Thursday, November 27, 2008

Review: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

So, I spontaneously decided to write a review for my favorite album, Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. It's part of a series of reviews called Ten Albums That Changed My Life. It occupies the number one spot on the list. Here it is:

Unsurprisingly, at least in my mind, the number one album on this list was not very hard to choose. In fact, I knew from the second I began this list which album deserved the number one spot. There has only been one album which has truly, completely, changed everything for me, yet has always been ready to comfort me in my times of need. Only this one album has had a certain power over me, that has been completely rewarding with each listen. Nothing else has been so real yet so mystifying at once. The album I am talking about is In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, by Neutral Milk Hotel.

This album has always been there for me throughout my teenage years. Whether in love, in tears, in hope or despair, Aeroplane has always been present to comfort me and keep me going. I shared this album with my first girlfriend, both of us madly in love with each other, content in each other's arms. And I listened to it, sobbing, on the day that she told me that she didn't love me anymore. This record has been a rock for me, something solid to stand on while the tempest of life rages around. For me, In the Aeroplane Over The Sea is more than an album, more than music. It's something that I needed during my darkest days, and it's something I'll always need. It's love and hope, joy and innocence. But it's also anxiety and fear, frustration and rejection, heartbreak and loss. It's loving a ghost, something that cannot be held or attained. Yet ultimately, there's a sense of resignation, of finality. You're exhausted and spent, but you have come to terms with the tragedy of your loss. You can move on, finally at peace with the phantom called love, because you know that it is eternal. It is all this, and more. This is art in it's purest form, beauty and emotion wrapped up in a glorious tapestry of vibrant life.

No album will ever take Aeroplane's place as the greatest album I have ever listened to, simply because no other album will be able to carry me through the worst times of my life. I will always treasure this album, and I will always love it each and every time I listen to it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Poem: Illumination

Sorry for not posting in over a month. Here's a poem. It's not the best I've ever written, but it's something.


the hollow-eyed soldiers are clad in iron and silk
their minds clutching onto the last vestiges of hope
such sorrowful hope
quickly now
it is vanishing fast, like a ghost
or a dream upon awakening
lost to the dark recesses of the mind
dead before its time.
before it can be held.
but there is a beauty in this formless monstrosity
the vibrancy of it simply cannot be seen or heard, only felt
joyous noise and din separating truth from angst
falling into endless nothing,
i see that there is a darkness in all men.

-johannes de silentio