User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 91
  2. Negative: 3 out of 91

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  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 lyricsThe 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. Expand
  2. SamS
    Oct 26, 2007
    5
    Much loved by people whose judgment I respect. But it doesn't quite do it for me. I came to it after Yoshimi -- which I love in the extreme -- and this sounds flabby and maudlin by comparison.
  3. DeanD
    Aug 4, 2006
    5
    Great music, but the vocals.....AWFUL! I have never ever heard a singer so out of tune, reaching for notes which are obviously out of his range. He needs vocal lessons real bad!
  4. BenjaminBunny
    Jun 8, 2004
    10
    And the survey says....? CLASSIC.
  5. TomW
    Sep 6, 2004
    7
    The actual music on this is great, if an aquired taste: it is quite melacholy and more than a bit hippy, in a cute way. The mixing though -- while probably intentional, I don't like it. The drums cymbals are *way* too harsh and overdriven. I guess that's just noise pop, but I kinda wished this music had a slicker sound, like the followup Yoshimi...
  6. TheJesus
    Aug 10, 2006
    9
    Pretty, good, but rarely better than "pretty good". In my opinion the songs are good and the production is fantastic, making the songs better...a very contemporary album. I won't call it a ten because it's definitely not for everybody. Though it is a better album than Yoshimi, it's too complex to achieve the universal appeal of songs like "Fight Test" or "Yoshimi...Pt. 1" Pretty, good, but rarely better than "pretty good". In my opinion the songs are good and the production is fantastic, making the songs better...a very contemporary album. I won't call it a ten because it's definitely not for everybody. Though it is a better album than Yoshimi, it's too complex to achieve the universal appeal of songs like "Fight Test" or "Yoshimi...Pt. 1" You should buy both. Expand
  7. JørgenT.
    Jan 10, 2008
    10
    This is the best and most breathtakingly beautiful pop album of the nineties, period.
  8. TomP.
    Mar 10, 2008
    8
    Honestly, after hearing (and loving) Yohimi Battles the Pink Robots I was somewhat dissappointed with this album. Don't get me wrong, it's still great, but I just thought it severely paled in comparisson. For one, it's pretty front loaded. (The Spark That Bled being in my opinion the cd's best.) and after What Is the Light? the tracks just seem to grow old, listening Honestly, after hearing (and loving) Yohimi Battles the Pink Robots I was somewhat dissappointed with this album. Don't get me wrong, it's still great, but I just thought it severely paled in comparisson. For one, it's pretty front loaded. (The Spark That Bled being in my opinion the cd's best.) and after What Is the Light? the tracks just seem to grow old, listening to his voice send out the same emotions one song after another, still good, just sorta boring. And for one final thing, did we really need a waitin' for a Superman remix? The orginal wasn't that good in the first place...But with all my complaints, after comparing it to the kind of garbage the average person listens to now, it's a masterpiece. So i give it an even 8. Ah well. Expand
  9. Dan
    Apr 23, 2005
    10
    Not many albums can suck you in and control your emotions like the Soft Bulliton. Don't over look this album for not being as immediately accessible as any other release by the Flaming Lips.
  10. SeanD
    Dec 27, 2006
    10
    When I think of the word "psychedelic" this is where my mind goes. I don't think I've heard sounds like this anywhere else in my life, and I may never hear them anyplace ever again. Hands down my favorite record. On a side note, "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" breaks my heart every time I hear it. One of the most achingly beautiful songs (ever?)
  11. JosephB
    Dec 30, 2006
    9
    The Soft Bulletine is the yin to the Clouds Taste Metallic yang. It pushes pop to its outer limits as well as anything that comes before it.
  12. BannusV
    Mar 12, 2006
    10
    This is an increadible sonically astounding album.
  13. rza
    Mar 27, 2006
    10
    Epic. The gold standard to the modern rock opera of life, love and death.
  14. S.L.O'Robot
    Apr 8, 2006
    10
    Do not believe the hype about "Yoshimi," and that it is somehow a superior record -- utter nonsense, that. While "Yoshimi" may outstrip the entire collected works of most all of your favorite bands, it cannot remotely compare to "Soft Bulletin," which is perhaps the finest album of the last 15 years.
  15. time
    Aug 8, 2006
    9
    I had a question. How can AMG call this the album of the decade and only give it 4.5 stars? Not only that but in their website they end up calling Transmission... their best album. That's odd! Great record though
  16. PaulD
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    The best record since the White Album, Pet Sounds, Exile, Buddy Holly's Greatest and you get the message. Freakin' beautiful melodies and arrangements, and Wayne's lyrics are the most insanely honest ever written. I liked the Lips beforehand, but this is by far their masterpiece. If this were the 60s, they would be the most popular thing out. too bad the superstars now come The best record since the White Album, Pet Sounds, Exile, Buddy Holly's Greatest and you get the message. Freakin' beautiful melodies and arrangements, and Wayne's lyrics are the most insanely honest ever written. I liked the Lips beforehand, but this is by far their masterpiece. If this were the 60s, they would be the most popular thing out. too bad the superstars now come from a television show. Collapse
  17. TomB.
    Aug 6, 2007
    10
    This album is the reason I believe in love.
  18. JoeT.
    Jan 1, 2010
    9
    I love it. ...it's gorgeous and radical at the same time.
  19. MikeK.
    Jul 22, 2002
    10
    Stunning, evocative, enigmatic, perfect
  20. johnnypomegranate
    Mar 16, 2003
    10
    what can i say? i never thought music would get any better than björk's homogenic, and then the flaming lips posted the soft bulletin, and i've never been the same since. only a handful of albums can lay claim to being truly life-changing -- this is one of those albums.
  21. BallaghJ
    Jul 12, 2004
    10
    Fantastic listen.
  22. KeilS
    Dec 7, 2005
    10
    A glorious slab of symphonic meditation. Coyne & Co. have created a beautiful, wholly original cross between Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds-era and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Even the seemingly throwaway tracks have something to offer. If there is any justice in the fickle landscape of pop culture, The Soft Bulletin will be considered a true classic years from now.
  23. stephenl
    Aug 30, 2005
    10
    easily the best album of the 90s
  24. RobertS
    Mar 21, 2006
    10
    Incredible.
  25. RM
    Apr 3, 2006
    10
    Stunning
  26. es
    Jul 11, 2006
    10
    Pretty much the best thing I have ever heard - easily my favorite album of all time.
  27. sidewinder572
    Aug 3, 2007
    10
    Depending on how you look at it this is either the last masterpiece of the 20th century or the first masterpiece of the 21st century. However you look at it this is The Flaming Lips finest hour and at this moment one of the 5 greatest albums I've ever heard.
  28. IShonaman
    Sep 2, 2007
    9
    This is one of the best - most returned to albums I own. To only stand there and here the sound of Wayne's voice and dismiss it - is not embracing the Everyman appeal of Wayne's delivery. You don't need to be technically proficient to express. I find the lyrics to be imaginative, yet anchored in a realism based on reactions to loss and uncertainty. The delivery (vocal & This is one of the best - most returned to albums I own. To only stand there and here the sound of Wayne's voice and dismiss it - is not embracing the Everyman appeal of Wayne's delivery. You don't need to be technically proficient to express. I find the lyrics to be imaginative, yet anchored in a realism based on reactions to loss and uncertainty. The delivery (vocal & instrumentation) only adds to the lyrical themes. Everything here is by design. Expand
  29. KonstantinosA.
    Feb 21, 2002
    10
    Best album of 1999. Period. A "Revolver" for the 90's...
  30. Howard
    Sep 14, 2003
    10
    Oh My God is tis cd good or wut! I've never heard anything as good as tis. TIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS
  31. [Anonymous]
    Feb 14, 2005
    6
    Seriously over-rated.not as good as some of their earlier albums.Waiting for Superman is the only great track.
  32. sans
    Feb 15, 2006
    10
    a masterpiece.
  33. JonL.
    Jul 28, 2006
    10
    Tightening up the epic sonic implications of their last two albums with beautiful melodies, experimentation and moving lyrics that are both personal and universal, The Soft Bulletin is The Flaming Lips' ultimate artistic statement and the last true alternative rock album. Gets far less accolades from the general public than it deserves, and didn't even chart despite being quite Tightening up the epic sonic implications of their last two albums with beautiful melodies, experimentation and moving lyrics that are both personal and universal, The Soft Bulletin is The Flaming Lips' ultimate artistic statement and the last true alternative rock album. Gets far less accolades from the general public than it deserves, and didn't even chart despite being quite costly, but it will influence many bands in the long run and should hold up very well as The Flaming Lips dip into middle age and the later part of their careers. Expand
  34. Tyler
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    This album has become my music base. I will always be able to come back to it. You need this album in your life.
  35. GonzaloD
    Mar 11, 2007
    10
    Subliminal.. Best album of the flaming, best album of 1999, and one of the 5 best albums of the entire decade!
  36. brody
    Dec 18, 2002
    10
    oh.... my..... god.... this is truly great. one of the best things i've heard ever. the cohesiveness. the production. the dynamics. just awesome.
  37. Sep 7, 2010
    10
    Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots may have been a bit more out there and mabe even more creative, but the Soft Bulletin is by no means a lesser album. A beautiful record that just keeps getting better.
  38. Dec 7, 2010
    10
    Its absoloutley amazing, as much as i love clouds taste metallic and their other albums this.is.their.best. GO AND BUY IT, it will make you want explode because you cant contain how seriously amazng this album is.ONE of THE best albums of the 90's and 20 years. up there with pinkerton,check your head and loveless guys
  39. Jul 30, 2011
    10
    HOLY CRAP! WHAT AN ALBUM! Words cannot describe how awesome this album really is. Never heard of The Flaming Lips, start here and you too will realize their musical capabilities. One of the best albums of all time.
  40. Mar 20, 2013
    10
    At first, to me, this album was very monotonous and boring, and I had only liked Race For the Prize. Then I had watched the Pitchfork documentary on it, and it just worked for me afterwards. Maybe it was the effort they had put into it, or the creativity, something, something did it for me, now I am a fan of The Soft Bulletin. I might even go as far as saying it's one of my favoriteAt first, to me, this album was very monotonous and boring, and I had only liked Race For the Prize. Then I had watched the Pitchfork documentary on it, and it just worked for me afterwards. Maybe it was the effort they had put into it, or the creativity, something, something did it for me, now I am a fan of The Soft Bulletin. I might even go as far as saying it's one of my favorite albums. The best songs(s) is(are): Feeling Yourself Disintegrate, Race for the Prize, Spoonful Weighs a Ton. Expand
  41. May 26, 2011
    10
    The Soft Bulletin is an example of an album where you just can't listen to one track off of it to truly appreciate. It's an album to be experienced in it's entirety; right from it's opening track (the majestic 'Race For The Prize") to it's closer ("Buggin'", the album's only love song). Sure, they all sound fantastic on their own, but it's just all the more amazing when everything'sThe Soft Bulletin is an example of an album where you just can't listen to one track off of it to truly appreciate. It's an album to be experienced in it's entirety; right from it's opening track (the majestic 'Race For The Prize") to it's closer ("Buggin'", the album's only love song). Sure, they all sound fantastic on their own, but it's just all the more amazing when everything's compressed together. If you can manage that (which, really, shouldn't be hard), you're in for a treat. Technically, it's an alternative rock album, but it feels like so much more. There's a lovable pop appeal that makes you love it the instant you hear it, along with an odd, experimental appeal as well that may turn it away from mainstream listeners, but ultimately, the two join together to create a truly wonderful style that will keep you astounded for days, maybe weeks, on end. More than anything, however, its how maximalist the music sounds that gives it such a jolt of grandiose energy. A seemingly infinite amount of instruments are in the mix-up, and thankfully, none of the tracks sounds the same. If the lyrics were as daring as the music, it would seem as if the band is taking itself too seriously and trying too hard, but the result is quite the opposite actually: Coyne keeps his lyrics simple and straightforward, which adds to the albums power. A masterpiece like this would've been almost to create perfectly, but the band somehow manage to create one of the decades most perfectly consistent records. Some of the highlights include the prog-styled epic "The Spark That Bled", the gorgeous "Waitin' For A Superman", and "Slow Motion", which includes the albums loveliest simile ("and I'm feeling like a float/In a Macy's Day Parade"). But they're all nothing compared to "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate", which manages to create a tune over Coyne making a studdering Bap, BapBapBab-like melody. By the time it goes away, you wont really notice, because you'd be too enthralled by the track to really notice even anything. In fact, it's pretty hard to notice anything the whole album; it's so damn hypnotic, you'll be shocked someone was crazy enough to make this album. But there was. And Bam, you've been mind-blown again. Damn, these guys are good at that. 10 out of 10. Expand
  42. Jul 17, 2011
    9
    Apart from having an overarching technical nous,the things that have propelled this album to legendary status among the cognicenti are it's warmth and compassion.This sounds very big, the polish does not detract from the songs, it would be hard to find too many better albums that were released back in 1999 ,a monumentally slack year in music.
  43. 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 inWhen 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. Expand
  44. 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 tieCalling 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.
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Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 90
    The group's most gorgeously crafted album ever.
  2. 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.
  3. A trip into the prettiest altered states the Lips have yet kissed.