The Flaming Lips: Michael Ivins (vocals, guitar, bass); Steven Drozd (vocals, guitar, drums); Wayne Coyne (vocals, guitar).
Additional personnel: Scott Bennett (bass).
Producers: The Flaming Lips, Dave Fridmann, Scott Booker.
Recorded in Cassadaga, New York, New York between April 1997 and February 1999.
With their multi-disc opus ZAIREEKA (four CDs meant to be played simultaneously on four different players), the Flaming Lips radically expanded the scope of their melancholy psychedelia, as pop tunes became modernist soundscapes, part-Pink Floyd, part-John Cage. Obviously, the experience greatly influenced the band's direction, because on THE SOFT BULLETIN the Lips again scrap the guitar-bass-drum rock standard, sculpting instead a huge hi-fi record akin to a post-modern PET SOUNDS with the vision of a humanist OK COMPUTER.
Long-time producer and Mercury Rev studio savant Dave Fridmann helps with the completion of a Spectorian sonic canvas, full of epic gestures (glorious sweeping strings arrangements) and brilliant details (well-placed thematic samples). The music adds a context of grandeur to Coyne's lyrics of Zen and the cosmic joke. Songs like "Superman," "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" and a half-dozen others, hint at the hopelessness of life's outcome while maintaining a sense of faith (a common Lips theme). THE SOFT BULLETIN raises such pre-millennial realist/fantasy notions in the midst of a 90s "Tomorrow Never Knows," and in the process setting a high bar for the last great rock-era records of the 20th century.
- Genre: Pop
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 02/14/2012