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The Doors - Waiting For The Sun CD (album) cover

WAITING FOR THE SUN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.51 | 218 ratings

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The Whistler
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Oh. Crap. No way. This album is horrible. Ignore my rating, that can't be accurate. After the mighty might might of Strange Days, I guess it occurred to the studio heads that no one in their right mind would honestly want to listen to a bunch of bizarre circus weirdoes trying to create prog rock two years too early, so the best thing in the world (to regain hit status after Days missed the mark the debut hit) would be to reinvent the Doors as a bunch of pop rockers. And to think, this was in the days before cocaine was so damn popular...

And before you say anything, just compare the covers! Strange Days? All moody and Doorsy and, well, strange. Then Waiting For the Sun, where they look like a bunch of pop idols trying to look all Gothy and cool. Waiting for the Sun? Yeah right; they're waiting for the next paycheck!

So, after hearing the Doors fade out with "When the Music Creeps Up Behind You and Stabs You," we get a pawp rawkah entitled "Hello, I Love You." Oh good. God knows I love songs with "Love" in the title. Although I once didn't care for this song, I've learn to sort of accept it. Pop rocker it is, but one only the Doors could pull off. The blaring synths pared with that evil guitar? And the anti-romantic lyrics literally screamed by Jimbo? It passes.

"Love Street," not so much, and the problems with the album become steadily apparent. The tune itself is okay, but kinda simple and dorky, not to mention overlong. Not even Jim's monkey poetry can save this one. Strange then that it's right next to "Not to Touch the Earth," one of the freakiest songs ever recorded. Bit of a chunk of the "Celebration of the Lizard" suite, you understand. I guess it works outside of the suite, if only as a kind of paranoia number, but the march like tune is so damn enthralling. Not to mention all the weird starts and stops, lyrics, organ noises, etc.

But, just when it starts getting good, it gets bad again. "Summer's Almost Gone" is a fairly ineffective ballad; it grasps at the Strange Days material, but can't hope to reach it. "Wintertime Love" is even worse; it's a dorky as sin waltz, schmaltz running in all directions.

"The Unknown Soldier" manages to be both melodically and aesthetically interesting though; a bizarre bit of rock theater/war protest/hilarious joke dumped onto the album. Nice organ work. "Spanish Caravan" is another bit of experimentation, a very cool bit of flamenco exercising. But it feels somehow...I dunno, incomplete, like it was scrambled together.

"My Wild Love" is the final experiment, and by far the worst. An attempt to create a chanting mantra is stretched WAY over the limit. Perhaps as an intro to a song yes, but alone? No. "We Could Be So Good Together" also falls flat on its face; it sounds just like one of those crappy pop songs off the debut. Except THIS one has a totally awesome guitar solo in the middle that is horribly unsuited for the song, and actually detracts from it rather than builds it.

"Yes, the River Knows" is a sort of acoustic ballad, but it's too lifeless and overlong to really do anything. Which is a pity, because there are some great musical ideas locked into its...two minutes and so many seconds, are you sure? Anyway, all the sappy pop and spotty experimentation has been nice, but the TRUE Doors classic has been saved for last. Hard rocker/ode to death and destruction "Five to One" is definitely the best song on the record, and one of the band's most fascinatingly designed. Dig the cool organ riff, the guitar solo that moves UNDER the song for most of its running time, the drumwork that occasionally leaves the band net-less, and Jimbo making all kinds of weird noises. And the two note bass riff; who else could pull that off with such menace?

But the problem is, not every song is so cleverly crafted. A couple of the songs are just so...stupid. The Doors reinventing themselves as a dopey pop band? C'mon, what? Another problem is that some of the songs range from interesting to pretty good. And yeah that's a problem, because it means that the flow of the album is all screwed up. This is far, far from the worst album I've ever heard, but it is certainly the most tedious and difficult to listen to of all classic Doors albums.

What makes it worse is the fact that the Doors haven't stopped trying exactly. There's still some classy experimentation on the album. Therein lies a problem as well, since the experimentation doesn't always work ("My Wild Love"). So that leaves us with...uh...hmm...a bunch of WEIRD crap. And "Five to One."

So luckily enough for us, the decent folk of the world who like our rock to be innocently pretentious and falsely black (or innocently black and falsely pretentious, I forget how that works), "Soldier," "Earth" and even "Hello" can tease the Doors out of the speakers.

And, alright, I guess the cover is okay.

The Whistler | 3/5 |

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