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  • The Soft Bulletin (2 LP Vinyl with Bonus CD)
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The Soft Bulletin (2 LP Vinyl with Bonus CD)

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Vinyl, August 25, 2009
$36.99 $34.00
Audio, Cassette, June 22, 1999
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 25, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: December 31, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B001VA1ASO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,342 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Their follow-up to the experimental four-disc Zaireeka, The Soft Bulletin is an emotional, lush, often symphonic pop masterpiece with distinct melodies amidst the swirl of textures and tones. Yet for all its headphone- friendly innovations, the music is still amazingly accessible, never sacrificing popcraft in the name of radical experimentation. After lauded indie albums, The Flaming Lips debuted on Warner Bros. with 1991's Hit To Death In The Future Head. Transmissions From The Satellite Heart and Clouds Taste Metallic followed. 1999's The Soft Bulletin topped numerous year-end best-of lists and helped rank the band among the most influential in the world. Special Packaging Info: Two 180-gram heavyweight black-vinyl discs pressed at Furnace in a gatefold jacket with a bonus three-song CD in a Babypak.

Customer Reviews

Albums like this come once in a lifetime for most bands.
Aaron C. Burkhalter
The more I listen to this album the more I love it and I think you will find it the same.
Jason A. Weiland
A word should be said about Coyne's lyrics and voice in this album.
Jose Artiles-Gil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Burkhalter on July 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is not just a great album, this is an unbelievably rare album. Albums like this come once in a lifetime for most bands. Few bands are able to create musical experiences that could be called religious just out of their sheer beauty.
This album is beautiful, desperate, hopeless, hopefull, lost and constantly searching. This album reaches into your heart and holds it from beginning to end.
The Flaming Lips, as usual, are deceptively simple, with songs like "Buggin'" and "Race for the Prize" which contain what seem to be simple lyrics or a simple story, but it's never that simple. Reach deeper into the album, do a little more research. "Race for the Prize" isn't about a race, it's not about a scientist it's about finding a passion for something and loving it so much that you would hit rock bottom for it.
Songs like "Suddenly Everthing Has Changed" are introspectively genius, and with the mere descriptions of everyday tasks (folding laundry, putting away groceries, driving a car) and those being the moments in which everything changes.
"Waiting For Superman" is a beautiful song about desperation and waiting for the saving grace to lift up everything up of our shoulders that's "gettin' heavy."
Outside of the incredible lyrical beauty is the best production job I've heard in years on par with the likes of Brian Wilson's "Pet Sounds." The album itself bears many parallels to Pet Sounds with the diverse array of instruments and sounds with orchestra, also the beautiful instrumental interludes, plus an overall wall of sound Phil Spector-ish boom to everything, especially within "The Gash.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Brent Uptain on February 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I don't review often for Amazon, but I thought I'd review this album because I feel like I can offer up some info...

First, I hope that anyone investigating this album has already heard it - otherwise, please see all the terrific reviews for the ordinary CD version of this album.

In regards to this surround version of the record:

First, I'll say that generally speaking, the surround mix on this reissue is pretty amazing. The enhanced resolution allows the listener to hear things that are rendered unrecognizable by the stereo CD mix.

Fridmann and the Lips were very daring with the mix. None of the standard rules were followed here (i.e. vocals in the center channel, only "effects" in the rear, etc.). Instead, sounds completely envelope the listener from the full 360-degree spectrum.

The rule breaking didn't stop with the mix, though - the album features and entirely different track order, including one additional song that is not on the previously issued album. That song, Slow Motion, is terrific, and makes one wonder why it was chopped from the original Soft Bulletin.

The DVD surround mix is accompanied by an oscilloscope on the TV, which provides a very moody and psychedelic setting for listening to the album.

My only complaint is that the mix was executed as a true 5.1 mix, meaning it was geared toward a system that has 5 equally sized and equally powered speakers and a subwoofer. The liner notes say as much.

However, most 5.1 systems have significantly smaller rear speakers - and mine is no exception. So, the mix often has key elements strongly positioned in the rear speakers, including bassy elements, vocals, and everything else for that matter.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Seim on September 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Flaming Lips built their reputation on eclectic punk-rock and surrealistic lyrics. However, over the past few years, their music has continued to evolve and improve, both sonically and lyrically, resulting in two of the best albums of the past 10 years, "The Soft Bulletin" and, more recently, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
Sonically, the band has lost none of its wonderful intensity. However, the rough edges have been smoothed, and Wayne Coyne & Co. have continued to experiment with new sounds and textures. The result is simultaneously more innovative and more accessible than their earlier recordings. "The Soft Bulletin" is power-pop meets progressive rock meets trip-hop and space rock.
Lyrically, the Lips have evolved from Dali-like weirdness to songs that movingly reflect the tension between humanity (and concepts like love, hope, courage) and the depression and alienation of post-modern society. Their philosophical searching is reflected in song titles like "Suddenly Everything Has Changed," "Waitin' for a Superman," and "What Is the Light?", and in these lines from "The Gash":
I feel like the real reason that you're quitting is that you're admitting that you've lost all the will to battle on
Will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives now that we've lost all the reasons that we thought that we had
Still the battle that we're in rages on 'til the end.
With this record, the Flaming Lips have created a true work of art. This is the band that everyone should be talking about - it is not hyperbole to call "The Soft Bulletin" today's "Sgt. Pepper." Unfortunately, outside of the music press and some dedicated fans, no one else seems to care.
Do yourself a favor - give this one a spin.
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