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The Doors - The Soft Parade CD (album) cover

THE SOFT PARADE

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

2.74 | 193 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Soft Parade is the fourth studio album from American psych rock legends The Doors. The Soft Parade is the most controversial album The Doors ever made while Jim Morrison was alive. Many fans have an aversion against it because of the added brass arrangements on two songs and a string section on another. I represent the other camp who find the album to be highly enjoyable and not at all a let down. In fact I think The Doors really challenged their audience with The Soft Parade which is something bands today could learn from ( if the record companies were able to value artistic ideas and not only focus on making money. Itīs of course utopia, but I like the thought anyway).

The general style on The Soft Parade really isnīt much different from The Doors earlier efforts and itīs more in the lighter mood that we find the changes. The criticism that many reviewers have stated about the brass and string sections on the album is a bit exaggerated if you ask me. The album does start with two songs with brass arrangements but thatīs it. You wonīt find anymore brass on the album after listening to Tell All the People and Touch Me which by the way are both excellent songs IMO. The next four songs Shaman's Blues, Do It, Easy Ride and Wild Child are all in the more ordinary Doors tradition with strong blues rock influences as well as the omnipresent carnival organ lines from Ray Manzarek. Runninī Blue is a bit different as it incorporates some country like violin from Jim Buchanan into the Doors sound. A great humourous song. Wishful Sinful is soaked in strings and while some might find it way too cheesy I really enjoy this song and find it beautiful. The real gem here is the title track which closes the album. The first baroque like hapsichord part with the sombre vocals from Jim Morrison is one of the finest moments in The Doors career. It moves me. Then into a great funky section, a short happy section and then the ending jam with those great rythms. I love this great progressive song.

The musicianship is excellent. Iīve always found great inspiration in Robby Kriegerīs guitar playing which is very different from conventional guitar playing most of the time. The lighter mood is something that could have felt wrong for Jim Morrison but it seems that heīs enjoying himself here. The jazzy drumming from John Densmore is as intriguing as ever while Ray Manzarek is not as much in the forefront as usual. His organ playing is of course of high class as usual though.

The production is pretty different from any other release from the band as itīs by far the most polished sound they ever had. Iīm not sure this sound would fit songs from any other Doors album but it fits the songs on The Soft Parade just fine.

The Soft Parade is not my favorite Doors album, but that doesnīt mean that itīs not excellent in itīs own respect. I really think itīs a great album and a chance to hear something different from the band. It fully deserves 4 stars IMO.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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