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on 17 June 2002
I bought this after hearing it in a bookshop - the only time I've ever been compelled to ask the assistant what music he was playing in the shop!
Since then I've played it back to back so many times, I just can't get enough. The lyrical content is truly inspired - songs about a struggling superman, putting away the vegetables, and bugs splattering over your windscreen! And the melodic material is simply beautiful. The harmonies on "Buzzin'", "Waitin' for a superman" are fantastic.
There are also plenty of groove based songs, "What is the Light?" "The Spark That Bled" and "Buzzin'" standing out in particular. Coupled with jangly guitars (never overdone) and lush string and keyboard arrangements, this album should definitely be in your collection.
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on 17 October 2009
The Soft Bulletin remains one of my favourite Flaming Lips albums, despite me struggling with it to start with, and there's enough been said and written about it already that I will concentrate on the format, rather than the content, for this review.

Having owned a UK CD copy of this album for many years I have looked in on ebay from time to time for a vinyl copy, always being discouraged by the unaffordably high price, frequently £80+ for a decent copy.

So, when The Soft Bulletin was reissued on 180gm vinyl for a reasonable price I grabbed a copy quick, and despite having hearing not so acute that I can easily spot the difference between one format or the other, was glad that I did.

For one, there is an extra track on this release not present on the UK CD version, but mostly nothing beats holding a good gate-fold sleeve with a full-sized print and artwork for me. And when the stylus finally kisses the vinyl after its slow, damped decent, well, there's magic there too!

On the technical side my copy came with nice thick edges, so there was none of the knifing that seems to be so prevalent with mail order vinyl these days. And while I'm not totally averse to coloured vinyl, neither am I a huge fan of it, so I was glad to see that this pressing is on the good old black stuff. The outer sleeve is made of stout card and the inner ones are poly-lined paper, which hopefully extends the life of the vinyl and accounts for some the (relatively) high price of this album. The music is spread over two discs, which I guess is good for quality, although it does mean you will be getting out of your chair three times instead of just the once to hear it through!
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on 29 August 2006
This has got to be one of the best albums of the ninties, top three for sure. 'Feeling Yourself Disintergrate' is one of the most life affirming songs about death ever. No excuse not to pick this up with Clouds Taste Metallic as both are pretty cheap to get nowadays.
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on 4 April 2006
I have Yoshimi and this, I was alerted to it by a friend in the States playing me the Soft Bulletin track "Spider Bite Song". This is a superb, emotional, odd and catchy song (ie typical Lips), missing for some reason on the British version and is as good as any of the top tracks here, telling of the time the band nearly broke up.
This album is definitely better than Yoshimi in my opinion, with the un-toppable "Race for the Prize" and "Spark that Bled". Uplifting, weird, clever and all the time with melody - accessible AND cool. And wait till you see 'em live, funny/absurd lights, animal/robot costumed fans at the stage side, duets with glove puppets, huge inflated balloons dropping on the crowd, snap-shuttered lights strapped to Wayne's chest - oh, just go to the next tour, you won't regret it!
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on 26 November 1999
From the moment you put the CD into a CD player and the first few bars of Race for the Prize belt out you know you're listening to a very special record. The guitars, drums and absolutely everything is perfectly pitched, even Coyne's falsetto vocals. The depth in the lyrics puts many of todays commercial bands to shame. The stand out tracks What is the Light and the sombre Feeling Yourself Disintigrate show a band at the height of their powers. No album this year will reach the heights of this piece of musical genius( Beck can't even do so with his latest.)
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on 29 January 2000
Superb. Similar in feel to (but much better than) mercury rev, this is also the lips most accesible album. It features optomistic meditations on science and death all sung in Coyne's distinctive, emotive voice. It is a perfect instrument for getting the music and the albums many ideas across to the listener. Highlights for me are 'Waitin for a superman' and 'Slow motion' but there are no poor songs and definately no ordinary ones! This is one of the most upbeat albums ever and deserves a place in your record collection.
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on 24 August 2006
'The Soft Bulletin' is a rare beast. From the sunny-pop opener 'Race for the Prize' through the dramatic 'Spoonful Weighs a Ton' and 'Feeling Yourself Disintergrate', a truly heart-wrenching, beautiful song about fearing death (let's not forget 'Waitin' for a Superman', the album's pivotal moment), it's an astonishing record that may not change the world, but its' use of different sounds and textures plus its' confident production proves that it is a truly groundbreaking and intriguing experience. There's not really a duff track, though 'Slow Motion' and 'Suddenly Everything Has Changed' are a bit weak compared to the rest of the album. Whilst they've surprised us with even bigger and brighter things, 'The Soft Bulletin' will forever remain Wayne and co's most daring and interesting effort to date.
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on 18 November 2006
This is surely one of the greatest albums ever.

The Lips' musical invention is mind-blowing and their lyrics convey an outward sadness beautifully, whilst actually emitting an elevating sense of hope and restrained joy.

Every time you play this album you will feel a new emotion; you will uncover a new secreted little sound which augments your whole listening experience; you will fall in love with a different song, whether it be the melancholy classic that is 'Feeling Yourself Disintegrate'; the uplifting symphonic pop masterpiece 'Race For The Prize'; or the startlingly unique 'Suddenly Everything Has Changed', with its dance-type beats interlocking unthinkably well with the rousing symphonic moments. From start to finish this album is pure bliss, and, astonishingly, the band have produced numerous other albums which are on a creative par with this - only they veer off in different, equally wondrous, musical directions. That is why the Flaming Lips are such a respected and revered band.

So, ignore this album's detractors, they are evidently people who have not afforded this album enough time or effort to reap its splendorous rewards.

Buy. Now.
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on 28 February 2007
last november, i went to see the flaming lips with my girlfriend, we got mistaken for the support band, and snuck backstage. we met wayne steven and michael, and at the expense of sounding a little wierd, it was the most magical experience ever. these people, are the real thing. Wayne truly is wayne, if you know what i mean, he was the most exciting person iv ever been with, and had infinite patience with me, even though id just snuck backstage and barged into the dressing room! point being, that the flaming lips really are their music. they dont just try to create something they dont believe in to make money or whatever, their personalities ARE the music, and in that way, never was a more honest and beautiful record made, than the soft bulletin. a fantastic adeventure from start to finish, that questions everything you once thought about life, and turns it on its head. themeatically its the most universal album iv ever heard, and the music is splendorous and magnificent. To the extent that it has and never will be matched again.

The most perfect record ever made, that will inspire me and others for ever.

listen and be uplifted.
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on 20 January 2003
After reading all of the hype surrounding the Flaming Lips, I decided to check this album out. The hype was, for a change, totally justified, as this is one of the finest albums I have listened to in a long time. From the very, a distinct style, and air of subtle class is present, be it in the idiosyncratic voice of the Lips' frontman, or the wonderfully unique musical style that accompanies him, it is so refreshing to hear, that it sends chills down even the most cynical of spines, and leaves you feeking all warm and fuzzy inside....... or something like that!
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