• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Sep 9, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Soft Airplane is a little scary (and dark and dank), yet filled with untold creative surprises and delights.
  2. What is clear, though, is that this is a finely drawn, funny, animated, and gumdrop authentic record, never less than fascinating in its endless and disburdening involutions.
  3. Filter
    The singer's quivering tenor is still fixated on death and a dystopian future....It'd be scarier if it didn't follow a song about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume, but that's VanGaalen's charm. [Fall 2008, p.98]
  4. VanGaalen's first two Sub Pop albums were compelling, but Soft Airplane gives him a stronger identity.
  5. Soft Airplane feels deeply odd and resoundingly alive.
  6. Soft Airplane’s basement-recorded mastery is equal parts charming and unnerving, and on the whole singularly spectacular.
  7. The result is an album that is often brilliant, sometimes breathtaking, and never dull.
  8. An intimate, intelligent, and always transporting cycle of songs that sends VanGaalen closer to his own voice and, in the process, closer to us.
  9. His most complete album to date, Chad Van Gaalen's Soft Airplane carries aisles of contradictions through turbulence and diffused sunlight. Here, the talented artist plays to his strengths.
  10. It’s the album’s contradictions and candid emotional messiness that make it exciting.
  11. Soft Airplane is a more focused outing; one that rarely travels outside the indie pop realm.
  12. Uncut
    The approach is scattershot, but the pace of his productivity means that you're never far from a great song. [Nov 2008, p.124]
  13. With a lack of lyrical development, an emphasis on sound effects is insufficient to make Soft Airplane memorable.
  14. Ultimately, your appreciation of the quaintly crafted pop ditties on Soft Airplane will depend on your tolerance for listening to an adult male trying to sound like a naive little boy.

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