- Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
CRITIC SCORE
79
Based on 19 reviews
2017 Rank: #90 / 401
USER SCORE
80
Based on
73 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Amazon
iTunes
Apple Music
Spotify

CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

Overall, Zauner sounds like she’s in a better place than on Psychopomp, despite the occasional shadowy fear lurking beneath its shiny surface. And while everything on Japanese Breakfast’s proper sophomore effort isn’t entirely fresh, and its structure is somewhat loose, there’s a confidence and crispness to Soft Sounds that shows just how fully realized Zauner’s formerly homemade experiments have become.

85
The 405

Soft Sounds From Another Planet initially sounds far more celestially concerned, fixated on Important Questions of cosmic purpose, but these are ideas sown and fixed in Psychopomp’s introspection. Over repeated listens, the former evolves into a touching meditation on love’s complexity and erraticism, where introspection intercedes the Big Important Questions.

83
Consequence of Sound

Soft Sounds… isn’t quite as playfully subversive as Zauner’s big-rig guitar solo on “Everybody Wants to Love You”, but her work as Japanese Breakfast continues to draw its energy from transgressing both the expectations of herself and her audience.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

Zauner’s sophomore LP not only showcases her skill in experimentation (using harpsichord and Auto-Tune), but her myriad influences, at times recalling the best of Spiritualized’s magnificent Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.

81
Paste
It’s a somber, starry lullaby that results in periods of fitful sleep marked by struggles with fading love and death’s vague mystery.
80
Northern Transmissions

With some absolutely surprising moments and a mature feeling to the record, Soft Sounds from Another Planet is Zauner finding a whole new voice for herself.

80
The Skinny

The strained clarity of Zauner’s voice is what makes this album so beautiful, particularly during the contemplative balladry of This House. Moving and inspired, Soft Sounds From Another Planet is yet another lesson in guitar pop perfection.

80
AllMusic

Soft Sounds from Another Planet is a giant leap forward for Japanese Breakfast; the move to a bigger sound results in a sure-handed modern pop record full of memorable songs, heart-wrenching vocals, and bottomless emotional depth.

80
Under The Radar

Soft Sounds is ambitious not only because it throws so much in, but because it aims to push a coherent whole out the other end. It's experimental pop that wants to experiment while still sounding like pop, and it really works.

80
The Line of Best Fit

With Soft Sound From Another Planet, Michelle Zauner has moved beyond mourning to a solace far more celestial, communicating her grief through these poignant musical prayers aimed directly at the heavens and beyond.

80
The Guardian
Although it’s mostly dreamlike and existential, the album soars with its shimmering pop songs.
80
Drowned in Sound
This album is anything but a fad. It hangs around long after you listen, subdued but resolute in its capabilities. It is very much here to stay.
80
Pitchfork

While Psychopomp focused on the most intimate human experiences, her new album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, uses big guitars and melancholic arrangements to address life on Earth, but it calls upon the cosmos for its perspective.

80
PopMatters

Michelle Zauner conjures the macro in the micro. Her richly observed songs convey intimate details and observations that conjure the immensity of concepts like love, sex, and desire.

70
Crack Magazine

In its 12 tracks, Soft Sounds From Another Planet is a reflection of grief, which depicts its enduring nature and many manifestations. The album harks to not just a personal past, but also towards a future that encompasses all the fear and excitement of discovering a new planet.

70
Exclaim!
Zauner could have carved herself a pretty good career knocking out albums of lo-fi pop. Instead, she reveals a heretofore-unheard level of ambition as she expands her pop palette and worldview.
60
Loud and Quiet

Zauner puts down her guitar several times throughout the album and embraces the life of a replicant. At other times, it unfortunately feels even more like a copy of a copy.

60
Tiny Mix Tapes

Ultimately, Soft Sounds is an uneven experience, stylistically and in terms of (this listener’s) engagement. But still, in the shimmering hooky synthpop of “Machinist,” the Morrissey-esque lilt of “Boyish,” there are bright stars hanging in the firmament.

60
Sputnikmusic

There are plenty of loveable moments, sure, but they tend to congeal like sand passing through your fingers.

Jul 12, 2017*
WildChameleon
83
Pretty different to Psychopomp

Edit :

Soft Sounds From Another Planet is better than Psychopomp. Despite some unecessary but beautiful interludes (Diving Woman, Planetary Ambience), her songwriting and composition gradually increased, especially in 12 steps (my favourite with Road Head), Boyish, Road Head, Till Death and This House. It just lacks some cohesive choice (Machinist / Soft Sounds from Another Planet vs other) to be a complete success for everyone.

P.S : If you don't like her ... read more
Jul 16, 2017*
thisisabtlgrnd
87
Space rock! Shoegaze! Synth pop! Intimate indie rock!

It's all here, with magnificent production and some of the best lyrics I've heard this year. The approach on Soft Sounds actually reminds me of Grandaddy or even Spiritualized at points. Big things ahead for Japanese Breakfast.

Favorite tracks: Boyish, Machinist, Road Head, Diving Woman, 12 Steps, Till Death
Jul 19, 2017
plowo
81
I didn't hope this would be that good.
Jul 16, 2017
74
In my opinion, "Soft Sounds From Another Planet" is an improvement over "Psychopomp." Michelle Zauner's voice remains just a touch too grating and nasal for me to be one hundred percent in, but this album is impressively ambitious in scope and sound, striking an interesting balance between strong guitar hooks and an atmospheric vibe. The album is rather backloaded with some of the best Japanese Breakfast songs to date arriving in its final third.
Jul 14, 2017
VinylHound83
86
I am only reviewing the songs I liked. The rest were not "bad" but they were not my style and I don't want to ruin her User Rating.

Soft Sounds From Another Planet - 90/100
12 Steps - 95/100
Till Death - 80/100
This House - 80/100

Overall Rating: 86%

Overall Opinion: The songs I rated I REALLY loved. Well written, beautifully sung and perfect arrangements. The rest are just too far out of my wheelhouse so I blew through them and decided to focus on the positives. In 2017, ... read more
More user reviews
Beach House - Bloom

Beach House

Bloom

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar

good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Angel Olsen - My Woman

Angel Olsen

My Woman

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of the City

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Frank Ocean

Channel Orange

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp a Butterfly

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

St. Vincent

St. Vincent

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens

Carrie & Lowell

July 14, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
Tags
Track List
  1. Diving Woman
  2. Road Head
  3. Machinist
  4. Planetary Ambience
  5. Soft Sounds from Another Planet
  6. Boyish
  7. 12 Steps
  8. Jimmy Fallon Big!
  9. The Body Is a Blade
  10. Till Death
  11. This House
  12. Here Come the Tubular Bells


Added on: May 4, 2017