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The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999)

March 5, 2015

[Album 381/1001]220px-Soft_Bulletin_cover

Flavor Flav once advised, “Don’t believe the hype.”

At least with The Soft Bulletin, you can safely disregard this advice.*

This record is frequently cited as the album of the year/decade/generation/with some critics likely stopping just short of saying millennium/since the Mesozoic era…

Fortunately, it’s more true than hyperbolic.

Why is this Flaming Lips album is worthy of such accolades (at least the ones limited to single calendar-year time-frames)?

Many, many words have been written praising this record.  I do recommend reading such reviews as the enthusiasm of a really positive & thorough review can be contagious.

But if you’ve got places to be – I’ll give you the abstract in lieu of the lengthy dissertation.

Lending supporting evidence to my (Soft Bulletin = super) thesis, see my semi-relevant arts & crafts summary below!

soft bulletin

 

*Somewhat curious advice to begin with, considering his role in Public Enemy is best described as being the ‘Hype Man’

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From → 1990s

19 Comments
  1. jprobichaud permalink

    A great album indeed but I still prefer Yoshimi.

    • And I feel like this is going to be one of those groups where I flip back and forth – ask me today, I’ll say Soft Bulletin. Next week, could easily be Yoshimi again!

  2. Does the term ‘hype’ derive from hyperbole?
    I remember enjoying The Soft Bulletin even before one was required of every thoughtful music fan to do so. Having recently acquired it on good ‘ol new vinyl, it’s on the Vinyl Connection ‘write about’ list. Thanks for your warm-up.

    • I’d imagine it does – though I’m not sure, perhaps Flav would be the better person to ask!
      I’m generally nervous about albums one is supposed to revere – luckily this one delivered. And I’d imagine it would sound that much better on vinyl, I’m keen on reading your take on it!

  3. I still find myself getting lost when I play this one … the term is banded around too often, but this is a masterpiece. My mind was blown when I first heard it …

    • Agreed -on both the possible overuse of the term but with it’s appropriateness here nonetheless!

  4. A fine choice! And one of my albums of the__________. A shame Wayne got divorced, started hanging with Miley C and keeps trying to remake Metal Machine Music, but hey: we’ll always have the albums from Satellite to At War With The Mystics (and parts of Embryonic, too!)

  5. Another all time fave for me. Prob top 10.
    Regarding TSB vs Yoshimi … I think every Lips album got better and better (with a couple of possible exceptions) and peaked with Yoshimi (maybe my all time #1). It’s been downhill since then but those later albums are still great.

    • I hope that top 10 list one day surfaces as a post Andy, I look forward to it!

      • It will probably. I did one (top 20) on Fb for friends back in 2009 and I thought it’d be good to do an update (bit late for 5 year anniversary but close). One thing that has stopped me is I’m not sure it’d be very different. But hey, most of the people that read my blog wouldn’t have seen that old post so I guess it don’t matter.

      • And I’d say that’s the beauty of lists – they’re more like ‘works in process.’ I’d imagine most of my top 5s would have some fluctuation.

        Some would be pretty concrete (I can’t see Radiohead being unseated from #1 “R” artist) but I might do a 5 years later (or 5 years and a few months!) revisit on some of them as well.

  6. Also, for interest’s sake .. what was the tracklisting on the version you listened to?

      • Ah, so the one that actually has Spiderbite Song on it.

        Yeah the Aus version I have is so different. I’m quite annoyed by it actually. Well at least it has Slow Motion, though Spiderbite is a superior track – in fact I reckon it’s one of their best.

  7. I’m about to lose all cred here. I don’t think Ive heard an album proper of theirs all the way through. Not a one. The only one I own by them is their take on Pink Floyd Dark Side of The Moon, with Peaches and (the reason I bought it) Henry Rollins. As for the rest of their discography, I know OF them, and I’ve always WANTED to get to them, but there’s always so much music so little time.

    I think I’ll take this review as a recommend.

    • Not to worry Aaron – this is a safe place for such confessions.

      Yoshimi was my first full album a couple years ago so I’m not exactly a lifelong devotee either. Though I’m pretty sure they were on an episode of the original 90210 that I remember enjoying, not sure if that helps or hurts ‘cred’ in my case!

      These ones that seem to be universally praised can be intimidating but I’m with the masses on this one

  8. Could never really summon up any enthusiasm for this lot – not that they’re bad at all, I think I’m just immune.

    • Not to worry – As long as you don’t disapprove of the PE/Flav reference, all is well if you aren’t into them!

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