The Soft Bulletin (album) by The Flaming Lips

The Soft Bulletin
The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips
Year: 1999
Overall rank: 107th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
83/100 (from 1,323 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution
Award Top 5 albums of 1999 (2nd)
Award Top 20 albums of the 1990s (20th)
Award Top 200 albums of all time (107th)

The Flaming Lips bestography

The Soft Bulletin is ranked 2nd best out of 34 albums by The Flaming Lips on

The best album by The Flaming Lips is Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots which is ranked number 99 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 15,997.

The Flaming Lips album bestography « Higher ranked (99th) This album (107th) Lower ranked (931st) »
Yoshimi Battles The Pink RobotsThe Soft BulletinClouds Taste Metallic

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The Soft Bulletin track list

Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 85 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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The Soft Bulletin rankings

The Soft Bulletin collection

The Soft Bulletin ratings

Average Rating: 
83/100 (from 1,323 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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8 hours ago Lamplighter  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 53866/100
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9 hours ago Errol  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 24486/100
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5 days ago jukkasetala  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 23183/100
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05/20/2020 18:49 Dekumoogle  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 24636/100
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05/18/2020 10:10 francisfloyd99  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 42785/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on This album has a mean average rating of 82.0/100. The trimmed mean (excluding outliers) is 83.3/100. The standard deviation for this album is 15.8.

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The Soft Bulletin comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 106 comments |
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From 05/15/2020 15:09
I'm going to echo numerous of the comments and say I don't fully get the appeal of this album, despite Flaming Lips being one of my favorite bands. Yoshimi, Clouds Taste Metallic, and Zaireeka all had an immediate appeal to me that this one doesn't quite have. Still like it though.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 04/27/2020 23:50
It took me a few listens, but this is a really strong album.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 12/29/2019 20:39
Cosmic pop.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -2 votes (0 helpful | 2 unhelpful)
From 10/09/2019 05:31
Here’s the thing, I purchased this CD around the time it was released in 1999 and I distinctly remember being completely underwhelmed by the whole experience especially on the back of the universal praise heaped upon the band and in particular this album. Interestingly a year earlier in 1998 I had fallen in love with Mercury Revs opus ‘Deserters Songs’ a release sometimes compared to The Soft Bulletin’ both in song structure and band personnel. I should love TSB right? But at the time 20 years ago I just didn’t so that CD sat in my collection gathering dust

Fast forward to 2019 and realising it was its 20 year anniversary I took the opportunity to rediscover this album. Maybe 20 years ago I was too immature? Maybe I was too enamoured with ‘Deserters Songs’ at the time? Maybe I didn’t listen enough times? Maybe, maybe maybe...

So I did. I dived in head first and listened and listened and listened and read the reviews and read about the band themselves and checked out the lyrics over a full month. And ? ....

Unfortunately the magic just didn’t happen for me for a second time. Unquestionably I have a much better appreciation for the album as a whole and it’s okay IMO . At the end of the day that spine tingling “Ah Huh” moment was missing

So I’ve come to the conclusion TSB is one those highly touted albums I just don’t get ( adding to Animal Collective’s ‘ Merriweather Post Pavilion’ in a similar vain)

Guess the CD will be going back in rack
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/06/2019 19:47
Awesome album, one of the best of 1999.

Favorites: Race For The Prize (both versions), Waitin' For A Superman (regular version).
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 06/17/2019 16:25
Baroque pop on shrooms. I say that in the best way possible.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 05/28/2019 02:48

Suddenly Everything Has Changed
Feeling Yourself Disintegrate
The Spark That Bled
Race For The Prize (Remix)
Sleeping On The Roof
The Gash
A Spoonful Weighs A Ton
Waitin' For A Superman
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 01/29/2019 17:54
I never felt the emotional connection to this album that I was hoping to feel. I like all the songs and still think it's a quality album but I don't feel the same attachment that I do to other albums. The only time I felt that the album evoked any cathartic response from me was the last two non-remixed songs (Feeling Yourself Disintegrate and Sleeping On The Roof). Those two were done very well, in my opinion. Speaking of the remixes, I'm not a fan of including remixes and original songs on a final cut. I'm not one to typically adhere to album rules but I don't think the same song should be on an album twice. I'm all for interpolation and callbacks but straight up putting two of the same songs on an album twice (granted, remixed) is where I draw the line. They could just as easily have been released as an EP.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (1 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 10/24/2018 13:29
I prefer "Zaireeka" a bit more for its experimental audacity, but "The Soft Bulletin" is a pretty, swirling comedown that's quite honestly top-tier psychedelic pop.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 05/15/2018 01:12
I much rather prefer my mp3 album version to my cd version, as the mp3s have no remixes and has slow motion on it, a great song.
Virtually a perfect album-a must listen to.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +4 votes (4 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1999
1. Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós
2. The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips
3. Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. 13 by Blur
5. Emergency & I by The Dismemberment Plan
6. 98.12.28 男達の別れ [98.12.28 Otokotachi No Wakare] by フィッシュマンズ [Fishmans]
7. 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields
8. American Football by American Football
9. Summerteeth by Wilco
10. Keep It Like A Secret by Built To Spill
11. Play by Moby
12. The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails
13. The Slim Shady LP by Eminem
14. Enema Of The State by Blink-182
15. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory by Dream Theater
16. When The Pawn... by Fiona Apple
17. The Battle Of Los Angeles by Rage Against The Machine
18. Slow Riot For New Zerø Kanada by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
19. Showbiz by Muse
20. Mule Variations by Tom Waits
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