Sometimes Indie is an excuse for bad singing
The Soft Bulletin is the ninth studio album by American rock band the Flaming Lips, released by Warner Bros. Records on May 17, 1999, in the United Kingdom, and on June 22, 1999, in the United States. The album was released to widespread acclaim, and was hailed by critics as a departure from their previous guitar-heavy alternative rock sound into a more layered, intricately arranged work.
Sometimes Indie is an excuse for bad singing
Definitely a The Flaming Lips fans. I'd probably prefer Yoshimi over The Soft Bulletin but this is my 2nd fav album of theirs. Also a huge fan of Wayne Coyne's vocals, although sometimes from live performances they sound a bit rough, recorded they have that perfect balance of normal-sounding-guy with a passionate vulnerability. Race for the Prize is ever so more relevant in our COVID world. The Flaming Lips whole vibe is happy melancholia; softly sad but smiling, dancing, and laughing while slowly letting tears fall. Their concerts always look like one big party, I'd love to go to one but a bit sad I missed out when they were in their prime. 4.5 to 5 for me.
I love the Lips. They make me proud to be American in the age of American decline. They tapped into something new with this album. Still raw like their early stuff, but dropped the guitars and picked up electro beats, glossy detuned disney synth strings. Still relentlessly optimistic. They started composing. Matt and I unintentionally saw the Lips a couple years after Soft Bulletin came out at the Seattle Pier with De La Soul, Kinky, and CAKE. At the time I didn't fully get what they were going for on stage. Random people in furry costumes danced around the stage. Glitter everywhere, splashing off the drums. shooting out from a hand cannon. Wayne sang through a microphone that blew out green smoke and crushed fake blood over his forehead. I untintentionally saw them a couple more times as they got bigger and Wayne started rolling over us all in the audience inside a giant clear balloon and convincing people from the crowd to jump onstage and dance naked. Digress. In the Climate Pledge Arena of America's greatest bands, there will one day be a Flaming Lips banner hanging proudly in the rafters, somewhere next to the Grateful Dead, the Mothers of Invention, and KISS. This is thier Revolver, or maybe thier Kid A. But dressed with a weird American glittery excess, self indulgence, and hope that seems out of touch with practical reality. A+
Wow. I- I - I- This album was IMPECCABLE. Where to begin. How about with the horrendous arrangements? Some of them started off innocently, like the slow opening credits of an old Disney film, but then a swarm of whining metal wasps enter to help arrange these disasters - er, sorry, REmasters. Ha. The album began so obnoxiously with The Race for the Prize I actually LOLed! The drummer’s little “one, two, one” couldn’t prepare me for that woefully rambunctious not unpleasant whatsoever madness; at some point a car alarm went off outside and I didn’t notice for a good 20 seconds because I thought it was part of the song. The background vocals combined with the sporadic bursts of percussion, jeez, I couldn’t help BUT nod my head. Like yes, bang bang, give us nothing! And is it just me or did the lead vocalist sound like Paul McCartney, but STRAINED? Like he was forced to run a 10K while singing exceptionally hollow lyrics. For example, listen to the line “They lifted up the SUUUUUNNNNNNNN” in A Spoonful Weighs a Ton (before the song descends into literal turmoil). Speaking of - The lyrics were so astonishingly simplistic, I couldn’t tell whether the songwriters were just high or perhaps … literary genius? Maybe you can help, because, from The Spark that Bled ~ “I accidentally touched my he-ead And noticed that I had been blee-eeding For how long I didn’t knoooow” it’s almost as if they’re implying that the singer just discovered he’d been bleeding from his head for quite some time I don’t know though I think I might be overanalyzing this… Or The Spider Bite Song ~ “When you got that spider bite on your hand I thought we would have to break up the band To lose your arm would surely upset your brain The poison then could reach your heart from a vein” Clear, to the point and nostalgic - no, really, it takes me back to first grade when we learned about RHYMES for the first time, I think I came up with a poem just like this actually Or even better, Buggin ~ “All those bugs buzzing around your head Well, they fly in the air as you comb your hair And the summertime will make you itch the mosquito bites Well, they bite Yeah, they bite But you still tell they're there” Guys I think they’re onto something here! Bugs bite, oh they bite alright! I got a mosquito bite on my ankle yesterday, do you think they’re implying that this bite was in fact, from the mosquito that bit my ankle that was bitten by the mosquito who decided to bite my ankle that had a bite from the very same mosquito? Lastly, Feeling Yourself Disintegrate started off promising with some unsettling “brap-bap-bap-brrrap-bap-bap-bap-bap”s , then dissolved into another timeless drone devoid of any meaning. This is the ENTIRE song (don’t worry I don’t think I can get a copyright strike bc of how deliciously generic the lyrics are): “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 ending Within us Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate Feeling yourself disintegrate” At this point I really felt myself begin to disintegrate. And combust. And become one with the dead mosquitos on my window net. With all that being said (I hope it was comprehensive enough), I think I might have weakly enjoyed this if I was unwillingly under the influence of some mysterious psychedelic plant, maybe the Flaming Lips have some to spare? Look I appreciate profundity in simplicity, but this was uh … pretty bad. Except for the first two, the tracks melted into an indiscernible mass of misplaced drums and ridiculously elementary, LITERALLY the tackiest lyrics I’ve seen in a long time. Wait, don't be offended, it’s honestly refreshing! It could also be that I’m laughably wrong and the album is too sophisticated for my measly uncultured in the genre of reverby rock (or wtvr this is) mind to process. I can never tell. After all, the band somehow has over 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify????
Dreamy; heartfelt; frankly spoken and delivered lyrics that sound like they're coming from the neighborhood kid. Ultra intricate layering worthy of the call out to Pet Sounds. Basically, this album is the blueprint for the indie art band sound that became such a hit by 2010.
Listened to this album a lot in 1999, together with Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs. Band is operating in their own universe. A lot of these 1001 albums have a perfect song order and build up. Just like this album, which might take some time to grow. At some point, it gets a bit messy and crowded, with all these little noises, and then "What Is The Light" starts..
A surprisingly beautiful album. A rare album that I threw back on immediately after listening to it. It's weird, but also has some wonderfully sticky hooks in it, as well as some varied instrumentation and some interesting noise influences here and there. Could imagine enjoying a relaxing evening flying among the stars to this record. Favorite tracks: "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton", "Waitin' on a Superman", "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate"
Always a pleasure to listen to this brilliant collection of music. The Flaming Lips' brand of highly experimental pop rock often borders on the inaccessible, but they hit the perfect mix of avant garde creativity and beautifully melodic on 'The Soft Bulletin'; it's like taking The Beatles at their prime and throwing in late 20th century studio magic with just the right amount of weird. Not only is this album an accomplishment musically, but the lyrics are also often incredibly poignant and powerful. Songs like 'Waitin' for a Superman' or 'Suddenly Everything Has Changed' do such an amazing job at capturing and conveying emotionally heavy and profound ideas in such beautifully simple ways. An absolutely perfect album and worth many, many listens.
A truly stunning album, by one of the weirdest bands that ever was. This is the 9th (!) studio album by the Oklahoma City trio and, after mussing around with all forms of garage-rock-meets-experimental in the decade+ before, The Soft Bulletin sets the bar for all Flaming Lips work after. It sets the bar for all psych rock work after, really. Which, ever since the year 2010, what with MGMT’s Congratulations and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, has been having a real lengthy revivalist moment. One that The Flaming Lips’ mid-career masterpiece(s) undeniably had a profound influence on some 10 years earlier. Sometime a year ago, autumn, this album had a profound influence on me too. That was a time when I was still sorting through the sands of depression after Covid’s fallout, working a job I hated, and feeling entirely purposeless. Then, when I first heard this album, Wayne Coyne quickly became one of my favorite lyricists. During those bad commutes, his simple, child-like musings on the smallest and largest of all things, delivered in that fragile, kermit-y way he sings, bolstered by the explosive, earth-shatteringly cosmic sound of the album gave me a second chance. That sound is in big part thanks to Steven Drozd’s drum work with the help of Michael Ivins engineering and David Fridmann’s production in addition to Wayne Coyne’s endlessly wandering mind. And it sounds, still, even post Yoshimi and all that psych rock revival that followed, like nothing I’ve ever heard. But back to the lyrics. Wayne Coyne’s ability to communicate the overbearing weight of depression in a slight, incidental bleed; his ability to communicate the power of togetherness and love in a “spoonful,” or in the biting, itching bugs splattered across your windshield in summer; the burst of existential terror you might face while putting away your vegetables; that a spider bite might destroy you the same way a broken heart will, is nothing short of humanizing. It’s looking at the stars at night. The connections he draws between the big and the small of everyday life, and how it all wraps up like some sort of recipe for the Universe…I want to live in there. And I try to. Another note on this theme: in the liner notes, each of these songs is given subtitles. And the subtitle for track 6—“What is the Light?”—is “An untested hypothesis suggesting that the chemical (in our brains) by which we are able to experience the sensation of being in love is the same chemical that caused the "Big Bang" that was the birth of the accelerating universe.” “Waiting For Superman” is perhaps the album’s centerpiece; it’s thematic core and second single. Coyne sings “Is it getting heavy? …Is it overwhelming to use a crane to crush a fly? …Tell everybody waitin’ for a superman that they should try to hold on best they can…” But what I love most is the more practical note this song ends on, “It’s just too heavy for a superman to lift.” And so what Coyne emphasizes is the “waiting” rather than the “superman” and I admire him a great deal for that. Because despite all the beauty and love he sees in the most minute and grand details of life, he recognizes the overwhelming weight and chaos that makes all that beauty possible. And how it’s not usually all that suited for human kinds. In closing, I have many albums that affected and influenced me in my adolescent life. But far fewer that I’ve clung to that same way in my adult life. This album is one of the few that has. Perhaps more so than any other. But even personal histories aside, I can attest to the musical and lyrical brilliance and innovation this album brought into the world. Whatever chemical caused that first Big Bang is in here too, and it’s accelerating on.
thought he'd die half the way
Highlights: "The Spark That Bled," "Buggin," "Sleeping on the Roof" Props to the raw production on the drum and bass for trying to bring heat to one of the worst frontmen in the history of pop music. The weak, whining performance forces you to process the dumbest, most clumsily constructed lyrics you've ever heard. Right from the opener, a generous listener hearing about doomed scientists might think they're listening to an ode to the Curies. Nope! They're both explicitly men. After much searching, people conclude the scenario is totally made up because the band thought it seemed profound. Their juxtaposition of anodyne harmony and embarrassing childishness with stock morbidity is bankrupt, and it has to be shoehorned to fit the melody. And it's all like that. A superior form of this entire style was already created by Eels with Electroshock Blues, something that actually draws on life for its hard-won optimism and puts it into meter. Most of the psych elements here are ribbons and bows on something unsalvageable.
Kaleidoscopic musical experimentation, mostly inoffensive to the ears and thankfully ignored by the brain. the whiney echoey vocals remind me of Mr hankey and I can't shake it. Something about it doesn't latch with me and the lyrics are utterly nonsensical. Race for the prize is the only song worthy of a single release. In fact a release at all.
It was groundbreaking at the time, and it's still excellent now. Love the crunchy drums and Fridmann production.
Here's the perfect blend of dream pop and trippy indie rock that I didn't know I was waiting for. Must have been pretty far ahead of its time, so much so that it still sounds better than the majority of indie rock bands that got popular with exactly this kind of sound more than 10 years later.
Genius, really lush and diverse, with lyrics that tell a story and work as a whole piece. Loved it.
Whiny indie-pop skip-divers respectfully plunder pop history as far as their moderate talents allow. At their best, that's far enough for a couple of songs (The Spiderbite Song, for example) to get within kissing distance of the hem of Peter Stampfel's ragged gown.
Pff really? Keep this to yourself please...
WOW. This album is even better than Yoshimi! A Spoonful Weighs a Ton & The Spark that Bled go so hard
Had heard this many times, an all-time classic in my opinion.
the boldness and creativity from the flaming lips never ceases to amaze me. what a fun and fearless group. the wry innovation within their compositions should be an industry standard.
After hearing the follow-up to this album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" and giving it a 5 upon first listen I was hoping this one wouldn't disappoint... and it does not. Honestly I have no idea how I missed out on these guys when these albums were released - it has everything I love about music; detailed harmonies, gorgeous melodies, dramatic arrangements, interesting instrumentation, and just a little imperfection here and there (e.g. vocals - which work perfectly with their music). All the while having accessible songs. Another 5 - this is becoming a favourite act of mine. 9/10 5 stars
a band reaching the peak of their powers here. glorious.
I've seen the Flaming Lips at music festivals three times (I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of theirs, it just so happened that their set times made it easy for me to catch them, and plus, their live shows are an absolute trip), but this was my first time listening to this album. I've listened to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots several times, and I'm familiar with "Race for the Prize," so I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for with this album. The Soft Bulletin was absolutely amazing from start to finish. Musically, it was incredibly fun to listen to. There was a lot going on, but it never felt busy or convoluted, and the overall sound was just very pleasant. The keyboards and theremin kept things weird and experimental, but they complimented the great guitar playing and drumming really well. The booming drums were great, especially on "Buggin.'" Wayne Coyne isn't what I'd consider an exceptional vocalist, but he plays to his strengths, and that helps the overall experimental and psychedelic sound of the band. Lyrically, I loved that some of the songs were deep and existential, while others were somewhat goofy and nonsensical. Overall, this was a fantastic album, and it's one that I plan to listen to again.
Perhaps we had better start a little closer to the beginning… Following the success of “She Don’t Use Jelly” from their 1993 record “Transmissions for the Satellite Heart”, The Flaming Lips released “Clouds Taste Metallic” a fuzzed-out, acid-damaged affair that plays like it’s Pet Sounds from an alternate reality. It’s one of the best (and maybe most under-appreciated) alternative albums of the 90’s, with excellent songs, otherworldly guitar playing and a reckless, experimental abandon that is uncommon for a band who had just had a massive hit on a major label. I’m not sure who was supposed to be minding the shop over at Warner Brothers in 1995, but thank god they weren’t paying too close attention to what these weirdos from Oklahoma City were doing….or, maybe, they were smart enough to know not to interfere with brilliance. Clouds Taste Metallic was released to critical fanfare, but little commercial success and a year later, guitarist Ronald Jones, who was responsible for the absolutely amazing guitar work on Clouds, would leave the band, due in part to drummer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd’s increasing heroin use. With the loss of Jones and an increasing sense that they had gone as far they could as a “guitar rock” band, the band began experimenting: they would take fragments of their song ideas and record the various parts on to different cassettes. The idea, then, was to play these cassettes simultaneously from different cassette players to achieve a symphonic sound collage from the music on the tapes. Initially, they would perform these symphonies in parking garages with the cassette decks of their fans cars playing back the music. Later, for their next tour, they scaled back and used Boomboxes for these concerts, dubbing them “The Boombox Experiments”. In 1997, they translated these experiments to CD form on their 4-Disc follow up to Clouds Taste Metallic, “Zaireeka”. The idea was simple in theory, in order to hear the full album, each of the four CD’s was meant to be played simultaneously, from four different CD players. Requiring four CD players for this experiment, however, was probably not the most practical way of getting your album heard, even if the end result was an album designed for multi-channel stereo surround sound insanity. It’s worth pointing out that Zaireeka was also put out by Warner Brothers. They were apprehensive about this one, however, stipulating that Zaireeka would not count against the 7 album deal that the Lips had signed and agreed to release it when the band’s manager discovered that if the album was sold as a box set, Warners would break even after only 12,000 copies were sold. If Clouds Taste Metallic was the catalyst for The Flaming Lips moving past “guitar rock” into more avant-garde and experimental territory, Zaireeka was the point of no return. The music on Zaireeka is light years away from where the Flaming Lips were just four years earlier with “She Don’t Use Jelly”. Zaireeka is a heady, psychedelic work, with symphonic grandeur and occasionally odd, experimental compositions. By and large, however, the songs are good. Very good, in fact…I rate “Riding to Work in the Year 2025” as one of my all time favorite Flaming Lips songs. (If you’re inclined, there are four and five disc mixes of Zaireeka you can listen to, check YouTube). While recording Zaireeka, the band was simultaneously working on The Soft Bulletin, a more “traditional” album, comprised of some of the songs from the Zaireeka sessions that did not work in the 4 CD format: most notably The Soft Bulletin’s opening track, “Race for the Prize”. Think of The Soft Bulletin as the third act in this story: the first is Clouds Taste Metallic; a fuzzed-out psych rock headphone album for the ages. Zaireeka is the second; a symphonic, avant-garde exercise challenging the concept of what the “album” is. The third act, The Soft Bulletin, takes these two ideas and successfully melds them into one; a symphonic, psychedelic rock headphone masterpiece. For me, the Flaming Lips have never topped these three records and The Soft Bulletin is the pinnacle of their creative output, a true masterpiece. From start to finish, it is a perfect record and should be considered as one of the greatest albums of the 90’s, if not all time.
Never listened to flaming lips but this has notes of YES, Neil Young and Radiohead.
Love this album, love them. Think I'd use the term earnest for this one.
3.5 + I always skip to tracks 6-8 - a wonderful stretch that gets deeply philosophic, especially on “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.” In theory, I appreciate the rest as a cinematic rock opera but most of the songs don’t come together for me. Wayne Coyne sings like Kermit the Frog and the arrangements sound equally goofy.
One that I’d missed, though ‘Race for the Prize’ is correctly unavoidable. Heard mostly on a rental car stereo on the way to drop off said Toyota Yaris hybrid back at Curries Motors, last three songs on headphones walking through Waltham Abbey. Sunny morning , appropriately. Curries wouldn’t refund the replacement tire I had put on after a blow out on the A41, but I was expecting that so was not too disappointed. First time I’ve changed a car tire, one more point in the dad column. Listened to the last two songs while eating fish cake and chips from a Greek chippy in Waltham Cross - I knew they were Greek from the inclusion of souvlaki and “Greek side dishes” on the menu in a sort of faux-ancient Greek lettering in contrast to the bog standard font of the rest of the menu. Context can be important sometimes, Simon. Yeah, I like this, would happily ask it out for dinner to get better acquainted, maybe over flirtinis, who knows? The drums stood out for me on first listen - in places, a very effective “there’s a loud and flashy drummer living next door” effect, just enough remove to prevent them from being overpowering, but acting as rowdy interlopers to the dreamy, orchestral stuff in the front. Beautiful to listen to, but little lingered in my consciousness on first two go rounds, as if hooks are too crude for such a crafted object. The delicate vocals cleave closer to twee than I usually tolerate, but work for what surrounds them - the voice very occasionally breaks a little, which I like. It’s a mood piece on the first couple of listens.
Great stuff from a band in their prime
I can easily see this going down as an all time favorite for me, it is gorgeously produced, trippy as all hell, and genuinely tearjerking. Appeals to me massively as an indie fan.
Very easy listening. Good background music while you work or hang out
Great background music. I like it.
Lisää nuoruuden suosikkilevyjä. Ei ihan yhtä selvä vitonen kuin Oasis mutta eipä tälle voi yhtään vähempääkään antaa. Ei sorru yhtä överiksi vedettyyn progeiluun ja psykeilyyn kuin jotkut muut Flaming Lipsin levyt.
Traveled to OKC to see the band play this record on NYE. Big fan.
Seems to be the least popular Flaming Lips album for SOME reason. A wonderful soundscape, Wayne Coyne just does not know how to make bad music
Already listened. The Spark that Bled is great.
Geweldig album, maar ik kende deze uiteraard al. Ik heb 'm op CD.
A joy to listen to. This was my first introduction to The Flaming Lips in 1999 and have never looked back.
Listened to this one a bunch of times. More than I normally give an album. It’s great, oddball lyrics that I’m not entirely sure I followed but liked. Elements of progressing psych, electronic and all sorts of just unique Flaming Lips. Definitely 9/10
Intricately layered and beautifully produced. This album was incredibly influential when it came out and it holds up very well. These songs are so well written and constructed that it almost sounds less complex than it actually is. It is one of those albums which rewards multiple listens due to the amount of stuff going on in each song.
I fucking love everything the flaming lips does
Feels like I am floating adrift on an ocean of sonic goodliness. A great way to start my day.
awesome 5 out of 5
i used to think this was the lips best effort. over the last 5-10 years i've wandered more towards yoshimi, clouds taste metallic, and hit to death, but this is still a really good effort. way better than 99% of music ever put on wax.
A spoonful weighs a ton
suave, rico, ambiental, está bueno para escucharlo en cualquier contexto, se siente la importancia que tuvo el hecho de que esta obra saliera en el '99, es realmente bonito. "race for the prize" es fantástica. "waitin' for a superman", también. el final de "the spark that bled" me encantó. "feeling yourself dissintegrate" es etérea. escucharlo todo corrido con audífonos es realmente una aventura, no puedo creerlo, mejora el disco de una manera impresionante en una palabra: cool
All time fave!
i like flaming lips
The Flaming Lips first drew my attention back in ‘93 with their song “She Don’t Use Jelly.” The lead singer’s raspy voice seemed to be just barely catching the notes in an endearing way and I loved the song. But for whatever reason it wasn’t until decades later that I would listen to a full album from them and discover how truly magical they are. That time came at the height-of-the-pandemic when I saw a video of The Flaming Lips performing “Race for the Prize.” Each band member was inside a plastic bubble performing to an audience who were each in plastic bubbles. Self-preservation juxtaposed with the need to connect. The song seemed to be written about the scientists researching the COVID vaccines, but I was surprised to discover it was the opening track of this album from 1999. So 22 years after its release I found this album. What I found was wildly catchy, filled with insightful songs that veer wildly from the epic to the mundane. The insights into the human condition perfectly captured by this album startles me throughout. How about insects? “The Spiderbite Song” captures the fear enormous consequences from daily events. “Buggin’” annoying mosquitos mirror the annoyance of love. Did “Waitin’ for a Superman” just make me tear up a little again? “Suddenly Everything Has Changed” captures our complicated feelings about our transient emotions in a wonderfully simple song. The moment when the lead singer clears his throat before the last verse makes me feel like I’m with someone who cares. It’s a truly special moment on a truly special album. “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” places death directly front and center. Instead of instilling fear instead it makes me feel less alone. So much love, loss, fear, hope, sadness, joy packed into an hour. Such lush, musical experimentation! More than a great album, The Soft Bulletin is a perfectly timed musical hand on my shoulder. I’ve made a new musical best friend.
I love their raggedy vocals and quirky, specific lyrics. They've got a bit of a 70s AM radio sensibility that I find quite charming.
I was apprehensive when this album came up. I was pleasantly surprised, as I expected something with more noisy and rockin’ guitar. This was quite listenable and interesting.
That guy you know that loves Indie rock music? This is in his top 5 of all time. I spent a better part of the mid-2000's trying to get my friends to talk about anything other than The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. That said, I'd never gave this album a listen. I still don't like the lead singer's voice in a lot of sections but once you get past the whiney portions... this album is very good. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's a little psychedelic rock, modern alt rock, electronic, and experimental. The lyrics tell the story of someone going through grief, maybe having an existential crisis. Either way, its a little trippy and a neat listen.
Yes! This is still great. Happy memories of seeing them live. Brilliant to listen to the whole thing again. Best song is obviously, boringly, Race for the Prize.
очень атмосферненько сразу слышно конец 90х начало 00х softlyy agreable music
I don't care what Jeremy says this album is baller.
Songs of life, death and what it is to be alive. A life affirming record that is one of my favourites (if not my favourite) of all time. Musically creative and unique, and emotionally affecting, this does the happy/sad, defeated/determined, mundane/extraordinary thing to perfection. It is totally my jam. Individually every track is brilliant and many are a microcosm of the album overall, taking the listener on a voyage from a sad or troubling feeling through to happiness, wonder or even euphoria as a result of reaching acceptance. Sometimes this emotional journey is inspired by something mundane like folding up washing or feeling a little old. My favourite moment is when Wayne's meek little voice comes in in the middle of the orchestrally huge 'The Gash' with "will the fight for sanity be the fight of our lives, now that we've lost all the reasons that we thought that we had". A devastatingly sad sentiment. But then the huge group vocals kick back in and rouse the spirit to want to keep battling and keep trying even if everything seems hopeless. I'm not sure why, but this somehow connects with me, as does the whole record. I love it because it makes me feel. Rating: 5/5 Playlist track: Race for the Prize Date listened: 06/12/22 P.S. I've grown up with the UK/Australian track listing, which I consider the definitive and best flowing version (especially if you stop after Sleeping on the Roof and ignore the three remixes at the end).
10/10 this album has NO RIGHT to slap this hard it honestly hits so hard for an album from early 1999 it’s so progressive and modern by todays standards, I swear they are using technology that didn’t exist yet crazy I can’t decide a favorite track, the whole album had me going 😤 just straight heat
I am not a fan of Flaming Lips, but when this album was released I stood up and said "Hell yeah!" Something about The Soft Bulletin was magical to me. The drums have the most unique overblown sound. Both this and Pavement's Terror Twilight just came out of left field and consumed me for a while (I have made personal retrospective rankings of albums and songs throughout my life; Terror Twilight was my #1 album of 1999 and Waiting For A Superman was my #1 song of 1999. They were kind of guilty pleasures as well because they didn't fit in to my usual listening at the time. I never felt that connection with Yoshimi, but I still come back to The Soft Bulletin a few times a year. I'm so glad the generator served this one up today, I kinda needed this boost. Waiting For Superman is the one song that absolutely destroys me... one my all time favorite songs.
FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE FEELING YOURSELF DISINTEGRATE
Wow, so awesome. The soundscape is so complex, the words wonderful, the tunes catchy, and they become more so the more you listen. A masterpiece!
Another classic in a series of great records by the Lips. This is the one where they first put it all together on a grand scale. Beach Boys moments mixing in with their earlier craziness.
Soft Bulletin is hands down my favorite Lips record. I feel Soft Bulletin is their “Revolver” and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is their “Sgt Peppers”. Soft Bulletin is the point in which the freak out acid tinged psychedelia of their early work and pop sensibility finally reached a touch point. Yet it’s still has a fresh lo-fi sound and sensibility where Yoshimi was more polished. Overall amazing album
80 / 1069 An absolute classic album, sonically beautiful. There has been a lot written about this album much better than I could, if you haven't heard it do yourself a favor and go listen now.
There’s simply no denying the pure genius that is Wayne Coyne. The man might not have the most flashing vocals, technically speaking, but that is exactly what makes Coyne the perfect pop singer. His emotions are always on full display and it’s as if he could break down in front of you every second. It’s quite astonishing. The Soft Bulletin is easily one of the Flaming Lips’ greatest records, where the band’s understanding of intricate songwriting, instrumental layering and balance between delicate and noise is on full display. It’s too rare that I remember to let myself get lost in the Flaming Lips’ universe - and listening to this I’m reminded that that’s a damn shame. Please, let Yoshimi show up soon.
Every time I listen to The Flaming Lips, I am struck with the realization that I need to listen to a lot more The Flaming Lips. The Soft Bulletin is simply magnificent. It's accessible without ever becoming trivial, and each track is given enough time to create a micro cosmos of its own. Wayne Coyne's desperate and fragile vocal is instantly recognizable and matches perfectly with the melancholic melodies on tracks like 'Race for the Prize' and 'Waitin' for a Superman'. Also, I have absolutely zero idea what the entire album is about. Not a clue.
one of my college favorites
WOW this is one of the most creative, moody, and beautiful albums I've heard! Waitin' for a Superman, A Spoonful Weighs a Ton, and The Spiderbite Song, they're all just...wow! Flaming Lips > Radiohead, change my mind!
Popping in to quickly review this album as I ended up listening to the whole thing while cooking a Tunisian chickpea soup. What a beautiful album. I can’t wait to listen to it again and then again. I can hear how artists I love are influenced by this album. Perfume Genius must have listened to A Spoonful Weigh A Ton many times. The compositions are complex and are beautifully matched by simple and elegant lyrics. The layered harmonies are like butter. Chickpeas and butter! I could just float away into space while listening to this album. 5/5, what a gift to rediscover The Flaming Lips after all these years.
Four years after hearing this for the first time, this is an album is the one that stuck like glue on me. Far, far away from cynical land, commercial land, cool land, exists this child-like id this so so beautiful, so unconfined, so premature… but always with a hint of sadness. The big-ness of the world as seen through the eyes of a child in the backseat of the car, whose seemingly incoherent babbling may at first be inscrutable to the adults, until realizing that— hold on— what exactly is he saying? Maybe… there’s something profound he’s getting at? Out of nowhere, the words: “I stood up and I said YEAH,” you immediately understand. That’s The Flaming Lips. Also, laying my cards out. I realized this year that I’ve been a Dave Fridmann acolyte my whole life, as a producer. And I had no idea. It’s because this album’s production DNA is stamped on so many follow-up indie records for the next 20 years. By now, it’s been somewhat codified, figured out. But there’s something so wild and untamed about the arrangements that use Disney-sounding orchestration on some 90’s synth patches, butting up against some really hard, intense shimmery synth jam. The rapid switch-ups, the wall-of-sound big-ness, the kid instruments. By now I have you figured out, Dave Fridmann. But this is a version of The Flaming Lips that isn’t fully figured out, so it’s more raw, more unpolished, than Fridmann’s later work. And I like it more. PS: if nobody’s told you this, go listen to the Live At Red Rocks version of this album, with the full orchestra and choir. You’ll be glad you did. 5/5
the flaming lips is one of those “your favorite artist’s favorite band” kinda band. i had listened to yoshimi a number of times, but had never given this one a full listen until now. this was such a fun listen. you can hear them experimenting with ideas that i think they solidified in yoshimi. the flaming lips are for sure one of the most creatively unique rocks bands out there and this project is bursting with that creativity. it feels like i’m drunk and then i took acid but you get none of the bad parts of that experience. i’ve listened to their newest record a little bit, but this record has definitely revitalized my interest in them and i’m excited to check out the rest of their discography
Tää levy merkkaa mun mielessä sitä ajankohtaa rockin historiassa, kun jenkeistä alkoi tulla viimein enemmän kiinnostavaa rockia kuin briteistä. Jenkeissä alkoi garage rock revivalit ja indiebuumit, kun briteissä loppui shoegazen ja britpopin tulva. Ihanan rehellistä indietä ja vaikka sitä melkein odottaa, että leikittelevä instrumentaatio alkaisi jossain kohtaa menettää tehoaan, niin Flamingo Lips naulaa sen niin luontevasti, ettei näin koskaan tapahdu. Levyn tunteellinen kaari on myös upea.
One of the best albums ever made. College student 1999. Music was getting weird. Not in a good way. i wanted weird goddammit. I also wanted great songs and production. I was familiar withy Flaming Lips. They had the fluke hit a few years earlier. I bought that album and enjoyed it, but never explored much further. Wacky psychedelic guitar rock. So this really caught me by surprise. It doesn't even have much guitar at all. Race For The Prize- an all time great album opener and mission statement. They have opened every show I've seen them do with this song. A Spoonful Weighs a Ton-I always see Teletubbies when I hear this. Their video screen was star of the show at Canopy Club Urbana (Sparklehorse opened!) The Spark That Bled-fake blood. Mortality. Big theme on this drugged out masterpiece of an album.
The Flaming Lips were the first band I ever discovered "on my own". It wasn't something my parents listened to and it wasn't something my friends told me about. Yoshimi was my first love, and I couldn't get enough. I heard on the early internet (The E.I.) that some people thought this album was EVEN BETTER than Yoshimi! I had to get my hands on it. I was obsessed with this from about 2002 to 2004. It is still great, but I acknowledge that I am the opposite of whatever Objective is.
This is a favorite of mine. I like Pink Robots better but this is an easy 5. I LOVE albums that are weird and disjointed and the Lips are exactly that. The melodies are great and the songs have this feeling like they are going to fall apart angry second.
How long has it been since I saw someone on Reddit recommending this album? 20 hours? Turns out this is a real treat, the only song I knew before was "Race for the Prize", but it's great psych-pop rock all across the board- and 90s MIDI synths never sounded better
I was admittedly not into the album at first... I've only ever been familiar with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (who hasn't seen that album cover at least once?). Was walking in the rain while listening and it just started to make sense to me. Notable tracks - 'Buggin', 'The Gash', and 'Sleeping On the Roof'. I'll definitely be listening again! This album made me finally understand the brilliance woven into the fabric of this album.
Lush psych pop classic flaming lips album
This album was great, and I say that without even knowing what they were singing about half the time. The flaming lips were able to create such a cool sound that is truly their own. I’m not even sure how I would describe this album; pop? alternative? Psychadelic? They combine them all to create a unique experience that really draws you at the ruin and doesn’t let it go. This guy isn’t exactly the most talented vocalist, he’s more of a talker really, but something about it is pretty captivating. Another 5? Two days in a row? What a weekend it’s been already. Heard before: none? Although the beginning beat in what is the light sounds too familiar 😫: race for the prize, spark that bled, disintegrate. Honestly all of these tracks bring something to the table. Interesting note: The album was remastered in 2017 and it features a different mix of the song “Buggin” than the original album. Kinda odd thing to do don’t you think? Song still bangs tho
Reading the wiki definitely made me appreciate the album more. Gonna make sure to do that with all the albums. Bro the high hat roll on track 3 😂😂 trap beat drum kit is crazy “Comb your haiiiiiiir”…it’s a no from me dog* Man this album is such a toss up between a 3 and a 4. Those opening tracks are just such banger tho do imma go with my gut. *(upon second listen it is a maybe from me dog) 👍: A spoonful weighs a ton, the spark thst bled 👎: buggin
This is another nostalgia album for me. This is practically a perfect album (along with Pet Sounds) to listen to while on psychedelic drugs. And even if you haven't taken any drugs, it really holds up! The production and experimentation is top level, but still so accessible.
The Flaming Lips are a band that the internet has been telling me I'd love for a long time, and honestly, the internet was right
Light, uplifting, well toned, beautifully constructed and arranged music. Perfect to listen with eyes closed to get lost in it. A must from The Flaming Lips.
I'm not the biggest fan of The Flaming Lips, but this one just doesn't miss. The mix is flawless and the instrumentals just gets through your soul without any effort.
There is no other album like this. Sure, indie rock with an orchestral edge wasn't new or anything, but the Lips made it sound so genuine, without any sense of the pretension that's often attached to that approach. There's a lot of details but it all seems so effortless, almost as if those sounds were coming on their own. One of the most beautiful albums I know.
Had to give it a quick re-listen, but is this album awesome or what? To be fair, I am a giant The Flaming Lips fan (and I'd probably rank Yoshimi slightly higher), but this has to be an easy 5 star for me. Between Fridmann's production, Drozd's drumming, etc. this album is special. Tracks like "Waiting For Superman" and "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" hit home hard in today's landscape.
The spiderbite song, mi prefe del disco que tema hermoso por favor. Abre con uno de sus hits que siempre que la tocó en vivo, y las dos veces que lo vi, me emocionó. Lo mejor de FL siempre fueron las baladas a mi gusto, y a "A Spoonful" es una demostración. What is the light, podria estar en cualquier final de peli y te emocionaría, que canción más hermosa. The gash, un tema muy de pepa y amistad, y cantar feliz. Felling Yourself Desintegrate, una joya de producción, medio Floyd meets Beck. Una canción desde las entrañas. Si antes la pepa había pegado abrazo, ahora es instrospectiva y te volvés molécula. Soy fan de la banda, no es mi disco preferido, pero aún así es un discazo y me parece que es su punto de inflexión, a partir de acá vino lo mejor. Además creo que en ciertos sonidos y conceptos es un disco medio adelantado a su época, pareciera posterior. Esa fusión sesentosa, noventosa y futurista, y a la vez inclasificables, que siempre los destacó. Steven Drozd como multiinstrumentista, se lo extraña mucho, fundamental en este disco. Este el primer gran disco de Wayne como cantante y compositor, totalmente volado. Siempre los paralelicé con los Baba, que para mí justo en Miami hacen el quiebre, y este disco es de la misma época. Se nota mucho la influencia de Bowie,The Who y de Brian Eno, en este disco. Es un 4 y medio, porque tienen discos mejores, pero vamos a ponerle un 5 porque hace bocha no lo escuchaba y me alegró el día realmente.
Enjoyed this one far more on this listen than I ever had before. Great album. 4.5/5
Why’s it called The Soft Bulletin when it hits so fucking hard?