The Soft Bulletin - The Flaming Lips
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    This is one of those albums people are going to obsess over for many years to come.
  2. The Soft Bulletin provides an exquisite soundtrack to have blasting in the car at night.
  3. A vertiginous rainbow swirl that crams so many ideas into so many tight spaces that each track is like a perfectly rendered Joseph Cornell box.
  4. Perhaps the most important album of the decade.
  5. An impossibly multi-tracked masterwork of excess, abrasion, and indefinable beauty.
  6. Combines Beach Boys harmonies, Pink Floyd-influenced orchestral rock and the lonely-heart vocal style of such '70s icons as Big Star and Neil Young.
  7. A joyous, celestial celebration of sound.
  8. Not just the best album of 1999, The Soft Bulletin might be the best record of the entire decade.
  9. 90
    The group's most gorgeously crafted album ever.
  10. The Flaming Lips' particular and peculiar genius comes to full fruition on the stupendous The Soft Bulletin.
  11. The Flaming Lips could've been forgiven for feeling usurped when their sister ship Mercury Rev steamed away with the garlands for Deserter's Songs last December, but in truth, both collectives are in competition with no-one but themselves and the gods.
  12. One of the Flaming Lips' most listenable records and another step up the ladder toward pop perfection.
  13. A very good slice of experimental pop.
  14. Upon starting Soft Bulletin--you’re instantly whisked off into the universe the Flaming Lips have created. The musical journey that ensues is nothing short of imaginary genius--simple as.
  15. As if the Lips' perfect mix of pop and psychedelia wasn't enough, they write songs that are not only excellent but distinct as well.
  16. The Soft Bulletin is sparse and enchanted, like the band has awoken from a long dream spent spinning in outer space.
  17. The Lips may have been inspired by the easy-listening craze, but the seeker's quality within their music tugs against that style's instinctive cheapening of sentiment.
  18. A trip into the prettiest altered states the Lips have yet kissed.
  19. The Soft Bulletin posts several clunkers, a few throwbacks, yet manages to it finds its way into some genuinely new territory, and in its wake the Flaming Lips might just be poised to make a masterpiece.
  20. Another baffling, winning, neopsychedelic recording.
  21. The Soft Bulletin echoes the oft-mimiced Smiley Smile by The Beach Boys, with its psychedelic wobbliness, songs-within-songs and airy termperament.
User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    The perfect album, and by far the magnum opus of The Flaming Lips. The Soft Bulletin is a departure from The Flaming Lips' earlier work, which was mostly lo-fi noise rock. The Soft Bulletin's songs are generally slow and soft, and explore various themes, such as love and devotion (The Spiderbite Song, for instance, is as far as I can tell about one's platonic love for another). The lyrics are clever and meaningful, and not superficial at all. In fact, I would say the overarching theme of the album is love. All in all its a beautiful album, and a must-listen-to. Full Review »
  2. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    Calling music 'psychedelic' presents loaded images involving gentlemen from the 1960's in paisley giving all manner of waffle on vinyl before, after, and during the taking of enormous quantities of high quality hallucinogenics. The very heart of this record is nothing to do with drugs, pills, and potions. It's a deeply human album, the vocals surrounded by a wealth of sounds that tie everything together. The gentle waves of Sleeping on the Roof, the simple instrumentation accompanying the plaintive Waitin' for a Superman, the wonderfully absurd The Gash, and then there's Race for the Prize, the best opening drum statement of any song bar Like A Rolling Stone.

    Despite being a contrary swine, this album will never leave my Top 10 and may well be my favourite album ever. A masterpiece of both songwriting and sonic invention.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 10, 2013
    9
    When an album can tell a story that tells itself, you know you have something. I only know that 14 years too late is well behind the metaphor, but at their best the Flaming Lips speak a language that can stand up to a little time at the hands of the second law. The album thematically embraces power unthinkable that leads to consequences ranging from benign to catastrophic, at least in the minds of the protagonists. We, at least from my perspective, following the development of a source of power, a source of war and weaponry, that once leaving the flaccid but hopeful hands of its creators has a major impact on the everyday person. Leaving humans with the impression that anything is possible, and that super humans are amongst us, we are let down at their impotence. Consequently, the world, as it is wont to do, falls apart, leaving nothing but the basest of urges, creatures and regrets. This is sci-neo-pop-psychedelia-fi. I like it. Full Review »