The Soft Bulletin

The Soft Bulletin Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 108 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Dave Fridmann-produced 'Soft Bulletin' is considered by many fans and critics to be the band's finest album, and found its way onto quite a few Best of 1999 lists.

Top Track

Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
Love In our life Is just too valuable Oh, to feel For even a second Without it But life Without death Is just impossible Oh, to realize Something is... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The Soft Bulletin provides an exquisite soundtrack to have blasting in the car at night.
  2. 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.
  3. Perhaps the most important album of the decade.
  4. 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.
  5. The Soft Bulletin is sparse and enchanted, like the band has awoken from a long dream spent spinning in outer space.
  6. 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.
  7. The Soft Bulletin echoes the oft-mimiced Smiley Smile by The Beach Boys, with its psychedelic wobbliness, songs-within-songs and airy termperament.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. BallaghJ
    Jul 12, 2004
    10
    Fantastic listen.
  2. 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, whichThe 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
  3. BannusV
    Mar 12, 2006
    10
    This is an increadible sonically astounding album.
  4. 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 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. Expand
  5. 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 beThe 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
  6. 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 theWhen 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
  7. 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 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! Expand

See all 43 User Reviews