Neutral Milk Hotel

Two-Headed Boy

Composed by Jeff Mangum / Scott Spillane

Song Review by

The emotional centerpiece of Neutral Milk Hotel's sublime In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, "Two-Headed Boy" is a disturbing puzzle that never quite coalesces into more than a collection of disquieting images equating sex, death, sideshow freaks, and the emotional release of dancing to the radio, "catching signals that sound in the dark." Unlike the rest of the album, which sets Jeff Mangum's vocals and acoustic guitar to neo-psychedelic blends of odd instrumentation, "Two-Headed Boy" is a live-sounding solo recording that sounds as if it was recorded to a cheap cassette deck -- the volume audibly pegs into distortion in a couple of spots as Mangum hits emotional climaxes -- and is all the more immediately powerful for it.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 1998 Merge 4:26