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Soft Bulletin, the
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Race For The Prize (Remix)|
|2. A Spoonful Weighs A Ton|
|3. The Spark That Bled|
|4. The Spiderbite Song|
|5. Buggin' (Remix)|
|6. What Is The Light?|
|7. The Observer|
|8. Waitin' For A Superman|
|9. Suddenly Everything Has Changed|
|10. The Gash|
|11. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate|
|12. Sleeping On The Roof|
|13. Race For The Prize|
|14. Waitin' For A Superman (Remix)|
The Soft Bulletin is the most accessible album that psychedelic-noise-pop stalwarts The Flaming Lips have ever released. The album is different and new, courageous and accomplished, as unique as ever and yet more listenable than ever. Rhythmic, piano-laden, exploding with intelligence and sonic texture, The Soft Bulletin, the band's ninth album, continues the trio's adventure into other-worldly pop.
The Flaming Lips' particular and peculiar genius comes to full fruition on the stupendous The Soft Bulletin. Anyone who had the gumption to actually listen to Zaireeka, a song cycle that could only be heard by playing four CDs at the exact same time on different stereos, knows that head Lip Wayne Coyne and his Oklahoma City brethren had it in them. That album, along with the Lips' Parking Lot Experiments, offered proof that Coyne wasn't playing by the same rules as everyone else. He was growing up and away from the splenetic psychedelic freak-outs of earlier albums and emerging as a first-rate composer--perhaps the first alt-rock star to earn such status.
The Soft Bulletin is absolutely colossal, a testament to their position as the vanguard of a movement that includes Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs, and Olivia Tremor Control's Black Foliage. As with those albums, Bulletin shares a love of cosmic, vaguely psychedelic pop and a closet full of pet sounds. But the Flaming Lips only uses these as a launch pad for rocketing into ethereal sonic space. Although Bulletin steps back from Zaireeka's over-the-top indulgence, it manages to be symphonic, bombastic, outrageous, and damned catchy--while still oozing the band's unique weirdness. The sound is massive and complex; gongs, harps, grand piano, bells, pipe organ, strings, oboes, choral harmonies, and, strangely, very, very little guitar squall all merge into one wall--no, wall of sound doesn't do it justice. It's a cliff of sound, propelled by drummer Steven Drozd's tremendous pounding. On top of it all, Coyne's sweet but ravaged voice yields tender lyrics that tag a catalog of Lips stalwarts, such as insects, spirituality, and superheroes. One imagines Coyne in front of a full orchestra, urging them to keep up as he sings, "Ooh, those bugs / buzzing 'round..." on "Buggin." But the Lips orchestrated the entire album in their studio, sometimes manipulating more than 200 separate tracks to achieve Bulletin's vast symphonic excess. Each song is a rare gem. "A Spoonful Weighs a Ton" sounds like a collusion of Bach and Tricky. "The Spark That Bled" infuses a fey, Belle and Sebastian-esque ditty with Led Zeppelin-like funky swagger. "The Spiderbite Song" is a shotgun wedding between a tender piano ballad and the industrial noise of things falling apart. "The Gash" is just too singular to adequately describe.
It'll be interesting to hear what the Lips do next. If The Soft Bulletin is any indication at all, they can do anything they please. And we can't possibly imagine what it will sound like. --Tod Nelson
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Top Customer Reviews
It opens with a glorious Mellotron wave, which is deliberately just a little off, at the start of "Race For The Prize (Sacrifice Of The New Scientists)." "Two scientists were racing/For the good of all mankind/Both of them side by side/So determined," Wayne Coyne croons. With, of course, offbeat echoes and electronic wavers and whispers layered over the indierock melody.
Without sounding overpolished, the songs that follow seem very carefully structured and polished; not a single note is out of place. Coyne sings above smooth, flowing pop songs with a catchy edge. And what songs he sings -- about supermen, debilitating spider bites, buzzin' bugs, scientists trying to cure terminal diseases, and wounded mathematicians.
"Soft Bulletin" also touches on some more uplifting topics -- "What Is The Light" is a purely enchanting variation on the typical love song: "What is the light/That you have/Shining all around you?" And "A Spoonful Weighs A Ton" is a soaring number about how "they" saved the world with the power of love. "And though they were sad/They rescued everyone/They lifted up the sun..."
Not that "uplifting" means cheesy or sappy. The Flaming Lips seem to be completely in earnest. What's more, they add a space-acid flavor to their music which keeps it from ever getting too... well, ordinary. The best description I can come up with is: it's like a big inspirational show on another planet, complete with a celestial pop orchestra. There.Read more ›
(And I recognize the photo on the cover of the CD--it's a picture from LIFE magazine from the 1960s of a teenager on LSD dancing with his shadow).
I love this album, and listen to it every day.
I'm sitting in my house, with a HORRENDOUS thunderstorm raging outside. The windows of my balcony are all open, allowing the sounds of the pouring rain, thunder and lightning to all add to the aesthetics of this cd. I'd like to think this cd isn't quite right without it!!
Anyway, on to my review...
After 200 some odd reviews, I don't expect to add much to what has already been said. But I will attempt to nonetheless.
This cd is gorgeous. It is Radiohead meets the beautiful poppiness of (dare I say?...) The Stone Roses, with the psychedilia of Pink Floyd, with a bit and dash of The Young Fresh Fellows and The Replacements.
Take that and combine it with the grand majesty and forlorn-ness of Ride or Slowdive--bands forgotten in the current heyday of Coldplay (gee, where'd they--Coldplay--get the idea?).
Finally, add to that a string section which sounds straight out of the London Symphony. Also, at times, there are such quirky sounds coming from the speakers, that you would swear Stereolab took over the controls.
Again, it's beautiful. Should you make the purchase, you will not be disappointed and will swiftly realize that it is highly worth all the praise which has preceded this humble review.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the Best quality pressing and sound of this amazing album to date. A must have for anyone's vinyl collection.Published on June 16 2014 by Greg
The Flaming Lips have made an interesting career of changing it up on each album. If you listened to "Clouds Taste Metallic" (their album before this one) than listen to... Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Bob
or that's what one would gather from listening to this album. Really, Coyne can be a truly outstanding and remarkable frontman or he can be absolutely awful as shown in the Soft... Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by Tony Moore
The Soft Bulletin is certainly one of the Flaming Lips best works. The soundscape on this album is incredibly vibrant, and detailed. Read morePublished on June 1 2004
This CD is very well made. Really. It doesn't scratch very easily. I've put it to the test rubbing it on various surfaces with minimal damage. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Travis
Imagine if Neil Young, Syd Barrett, Jon Anderson, Brian Wilson, and Arthur Lee all collided. Well, I can't imagine that mess either, but if ever an album could possibly sound that... Read morePublished on April 11 2004 by sikarv
I have been somewhat of an on and off flaming lips fan, not being a huge fan of "transmissions" i had my doubts of purchasing any more music from the lips, but i gotta... Read morePublished on March 26 2004 by C. Kim
It's funny how the less intellegent reviewers vote this album as "over-rated" and "crap" with "terrible lyrics", and the more seasoned listeners say... Read morePublished on March 21 2004 by Ian
I was originally ready to submit the following review text:
<< My complaint with The Flaming Lips is identical to my complaint with, of all things, the Smashing... Read more