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Bubblemath Such Fine Particles of the Universe album cover
3.81 | 53 ratings | 9 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Miscreant Citizen (4:14)
2. Be Together (5:35)
3. Dancing with Your Pants Down (2:56)
4. She's No Vegetarian (2:46)
5. Doll Hammer (4:35)
6. TV Paid Off (3:05)
7. Help Yourself to a Neighbor (3:23)
8. Forever Endeavor (1:17)
9. Heavenly Scared So (3:34)
10. Your Disease Is Nicer (2:51)
11. Potential People (6:24)
12. Cells Out (4:43)

Total Time 45:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonathan Smith / vocals, xylophone, guitar, flute
- Blake Albinson / guitars
- Kai Esbensen / keyboards
- Jay Burritt / bass
- James Swensen-Flagg / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Bubblemath with Santiago Fernandez-Giminez

CD self-released (2001, US)

Digital album - bandcamp

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BUBBLEMATH Such Fine Particles of the Universe ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

BUBBLEMATH Such Fine Particles of the Universe reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars 3.5 stars really, but ill round it up for sheer musicianship and astoundability!

Another great unknown band. This band seemingly came out of nowhere...and quite awhile ago too. First off i must say, this is a great debut album. There are many moments on here that sound like they are being made from a band that has been together for twenty years. Its just that tight, together, and complex. All of the musicians are fantastic, and its a shame some of them aren't household names (and i find it surprising i'm saying that after only the debut!). I would like to take to the time to say that i disagree with the sub-genre placement of this band. It might be the wrong place to address this concern, but i feel that if someone is looking for a hardcore RIO/Avant album, this is not for them. Likewise, people who don't like those styles, might like this album. I personally feel its mostly symphonic prog, although it does have moments of Avant-ness. Anyway, enough of that and on to the music.

Highlights: Be Together: What an awesome song! I fell in love with it from listen one. The complexity, the lyrics, the vocals...all perfect! The crescendo at the end of the song is maddening and brillant, IMO. A great example of prog. Dancing With Your Pants Down: More of a highlight for its vocal complexity then anything eles, although there is solid playing, especially from the rythem departement. Great stuff. TV Paid Off: More vocal insanity, though nothing compared to the other two i've mentioned. Again, solid lyrics, and musicanship are in tow for this song as well. The other highlights are: Your Disease Is Nicer, Heavenly Scared So, and Cells Out. Unfortunatly the biggest downfall for this album is that after awhile, it begins to sound like you've heard it before. Diverse is not how I would describe this album. And being that, theres not much i can say for the other highlights, that wouldn't be repetitive. Even still, the musicianship and complexity of this album hold it together enough for a 3.5 star rating.

All in all, this is a great debut from a very promising band. I can't wait to hear what eles these guys have in store. For fans of complex, fast, and hard prog (at many times they remind me of Gentle Giant, just much harder and less medieval). Recommended.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Inventive, colorful and unique are the words I would use describing Bubblemath's musical attitude, and although they never acclaimed more than a cult following ever since the release of their wonderfully eclectic and somewhat misunderstood debut album "Such Fine Particles of the Universe" I can definitely see a bright future for them. The music bursts with energy, originality and virtuosity proved by intericate and playful compositions who all have an experimental edge similar to Avant-Prog legends such as Mr. Bungle and Frank Zappa, who also are among Bubblemath's strongest influences it seems. It's a very cohesive and intense album with hundreds of ideas melted down to 12 very different songs but keeps the band's unique sound throughout all of them. I still have to agree with fellow reviewer Man With Hat that the album looses some focus and kind of repeat it's formula near the end which also keeps me away from giving this album a perfect rating. However, the album still is very high quality all the time.

The best and most representative track here have to be "Be Together", which also is a fan favorite and with good reason. This track is one of the best examples of modern prog you can hear, blending beauty and complexity perfectly. It does sound like a crossover between Gentle Giant and early Dream Theater and have become a personal favorite of mine recently. Other highlights include "Micreant Citizen", "TV Paid Off" and "Potential People", all being strong standouts here. Especially recommended to fans of eclectic and energetic modern prog in the vein of Mike Keneally, Dream Theater and Mr. Bungle. 4.5/5

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars I was not familiar with this band before listening to this album which gets my attention with a review of their last album. The music is very original and quite funny if not insane at times with many twists from jazz music, to Prog rock using multipart vocals sometimes close to Zappa, Izz, Gentle Giant and Echolyn. The musicianship is impressive and the compositions are intense with many crescendos with some heavy passages which make this band a heavier version of all the bands mentioned above. There are some furious instrumental parts between many versatile vocals parts that show a different kind of tones from the modern era and the punk alternative era. The complexity of their song structures is easy to digest with the good dose of humor the band infuses to their music, the jazzy atmosphere, and the lyrics. This another great discovery for me, just what I need to pick up the latest album.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I thought I should review the debut of Minnesota's own BUBBLEMATH as they've just released the followup to this some 15 years later! I was happy to see Kev Rowland mention CARDIACS in his review of their new one because I kept thinking of them almost throughout this whole album. The hyper and energetic sound and especially the vocals. Not exactly a style I'm into but it's hard not to appreciate how complex the instrumental work is, these guys are outstanding! But I always grew tired of this album before it ended, just my tastes in music. So while I agree with a lot of what Phil(Man With Hat) says in his review I can't round up to 4 stars like he did. I'm in the minority though so I would recommend anyone who's into Avant/ Pop to please check this band out.

These guys have an amazing sense of humour as seen in the song titles. "Miscreant Citizen" opens with atmosphere that builds then it kicks into a full sound. Vocals come in almost yelling the lyrics. It settles down after a minute but contrasts will continue. "Be Together" is maybe the best song on here. A mid-paced tune with an excellent guitar intro as the vocals join in. Piano as well then more guitar after 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Nice bass and drum work too. Some fantastic instrumental sections here. A calm 4 minutes in with piano only as reserved vocals join in. It's cool the way it builds to the end.

"Dancing With Your Pants Down" really reminds me of CARDIACS vocally. Lots going on instrumentally. Not a big fan of this one overall. "She's No Vegetarian" reminds me of the STRAY CATS and man I can't stand that band. "Doll Hammers" is catchy and uptempo and actually reminds me of 3RD DEGREE. A calm with piano 1 1/2 minutes in, cymbals too. A music box ends it.

"TV Paid Off" is one I'm not into because of the vocal style. "Help Yourself To A Neighbor" opens with almost whispered vocals in an Avant soundscape. The vocals do get fuller along with the overall sound as the tempo picks up. CARDIACS come to mind here. "Forever Endeaver" is CARDIACS-like with the high energy and vocals. "Heavenly Scared So" is uptempo with impressive instrumental work as per usual.

"Your Disease Is Nicer" has a powerful intro as passionate vocals join in. "The Potential People" is close to being my favourite track but certainly is number two(haha). This is more laid back for a change including the vocals. Well at least for 1 1/2 minutes. I still like this as it picks up. Some crazy outbursts too. Nice guitar before 4 minutes and check out that bass. "Cells Out" is my final top three song on here. A catchy tune with keys, bass and drums standing out early with vocals before it turns more powerful including the vocals. Contrasts continue.

CARDIAC fans should love this debut from BUBBLEMATH. Certainly fans of the popular Avant/Pop we seem to be hearing a lot of the last several years will want to investigate.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My introduction to this band was in the form of their 2017 masterpiece, Edit Peptide. What was remarkable about Edit Peptide was that it was first album release by the band since their 2003 debut! Apparently, the band members had quite a bit of trouble getting together to play, write, record, edit, and package their next album, but I'm glad they did.

Such Fine Particles of the Universe is a great album in its own right, though looking back through the lens of their sophomore release one can see how much their compositional and lyrical ideas have progressed since then. All of the songs are very cleverly worded, titled, and performed. Some of the music here is very melodic like CHEER-ACCIDENT [1. "Miscreant Citizen" (8.75/10), 2. "Be Together" (9.25/10), 6. "TV Paid Off" (8.5/10), 7. "Help Yourself to a Neighbor" (8.25/10), 11. "Potential People" (8.75/10), and 12. "Cells Out" (9/10)] while others are more avant-garde and comedic as if inspired by KING CRIMSON, Frank Zappa, Devo, or THE CARDIACS [3. "Dancing with Your Pants Down" (9/10), 4. "She's No Vegetarian" (10/10), 8. "Forever Endeavor" (4.25/5), 9. "Heavenly Scared So" (8.5/10), and 10. "Your Disease Is Nicer" (5/5)] or a combination of the two [5. "Doll Hammer" (8.75/10)] As a matter of fact, I'd say the King Crimson sound palette and Cardiacs singing-lyric style get stronger and more pronounced as you go through the album.

Another big difference between this album and Edit Peptide is the brevity of these songs--only two songs longer than five minutes and several barely around the three minute mark.

My top Three Songs: the hilarious 4. "She's No Vegetarian" (10/10); the incredibly tight weaves of 2. "Be Together" (9.25/10), and; 12. "Cells Out" (9/10).

B+4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of clever, very witty, truly progressive rock music.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is insane! I can't believe that they only have 150 listeners Spotify! This album never gets boring, there are so much great tracks here. From the grungy "Dance With Your Pants Down" to the creepy "Help Yourself To A Neighbor", this album has everything you could want from a prog rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#2530366) | Posted by Cboi Sandlin | Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Therefore in the first compasses of this disk - "Such Fine Particles of the Universe " of the American band BUBBLEMATH - it was impossible to me not to agree with the influences mentioned by the biography in the PA, GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON, ECHOLYN, DREAM THEATER. but, I think it was la ... (read more)

Report this review (#295649) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Going onto Bubblemath's MySpace, I noticed that this album came out in 2002. All I can say is... Why wasn't I informed?!! This quintet truly has the mark of the Prog-Gods on them. Beginning with the quick yet somehow smooth Miscreant Citizen, I was reminded of Mr Bungle. Some of the others f ... (read more)

Report this review (#234353) | Posted by MaxerJ | Sunday, August 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Bubblemath are described as something like avantprog-pop jazzcore. This band could probably fit in the line of new-wave avantrock bands like Mars Volta or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, although Bubblemath is far from as interesting as those two. Easy listening pop-melodies are not what you want t ... (read more)

Report this review (#75251) | Posted by Andreas | Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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