Soft Sounds From Another Planet
Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2017 Ratings: #109 / 668
Year End Rank: #41
User Score
Based on 224 ratings
2017 Ratings: #44
Your Review


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.

God Is in the TV

The brilliance Zauner hinted at on Psychopomp has been fully realized on Soft Sounds. This revealing and heartwarming record finds Zauner mastering her craft through the therapeutic experience of making music.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

The Guardian
Although it’s mostly dreamlike and existential, the album soars with its shimmering pop songs.
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.

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.


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.

No Ripcord

She’s retained the dreamy ambiance of that album and translated it with sweet, shimmering soundscapes on her latest, Soft Sounds from Another Planet.

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.

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.
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.

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.


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

Jul 12, 2017*
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 30, 2017
Eu escuto, escuto, e escuto de novo este álbum, mas não sei dizer se gostei ou não. Acho que simplesmente não despertou nada em mim. É um som bem moderno, com uma produção bem atmosférica e composições que mesclam harmonias de rock alternativo, sintetizadores e percussões eletrônicas, e melodias vocais um tanto emocionais, por vezes melancólicas. É uma boa receita para fazer um som bem jovem, ... read more
Jul 25, 2017
I'm scared of my own thoughts so I drown it out with female Indie Rock, this one works well
Jul 16, 2017*
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
Oct 30, 2017
All of the material that was presented here just read off to me as being my average kind of dream pop and indie rock with almost no flavor or distinct characteristics to it. I could see some people enjoying this album, but it's just way too bland for me. If she improves this formula with next releases, we could have an enjoyable album in our hands.
#54/Drift Records
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