I'm listening to Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea for the first time. Ye gods, this is such a strange and remakable album. I've been hearing for years that this is one of the classic albums of the 1990's, and yet it's such an odd, eccentric thing. The horns are mad, the music goes all fuzzy and out-of-focus at times, there's a singing saw, and the lead singer has this braying, barely musical voice.
It's an addictive album. It's such a guileless, unapologetic work. There's a very clear line of influence between this album and bands like Arcade Fire, Okkervil River, Beirut, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Decemberists, maybe even Wilco. That much is obvious. This is a touchstone of so much of today's indie rock.
What a great album. It's a shame it took me a decade to give it a try.