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The Doors - Other Voices CD (album) cover

OTHER VOICES

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

2.79 | 64 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Whistler
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Enough words have been shed over the unfortunate death of Jim Morrison and the untimely demise of the Doors (or the other way around, if that’s your inclination), so I won’t waste time telling you my thoughts on that. Instead, I’ll find some other way to waste time. Like, what if I told you that this wasn’t actually that bad of an album? What if, in fact, I told you it was pretty decent, well written, professional album after all. Not particularly intelligent or necessarily original or even memorable, but decent.

Right from the get go, “Eye of the Sun” promises that things are going to be okay for this album. A solid, albeit straightforward, blues rocker, with pleasantly psychedelic lyrics, lives up to “The Changeling” with its stomping beat. Unfortunately, this is as good as it gets folks.

Well, kinda. Lyrically, the country-ish “Variety is the Spice of Life” is downright stupid, and begging for a good thrashing from Jim, and while the tune itself is also pretty stupid, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. There’s also nothing inherently wrong with the jazzy epic “Ships with Sails.” Well, except that it sort of rips “Rider on the Storm” off here and there, with some Latin rhythms tossed in for good measure. But as an atmosphere piece, it’s very acceptable, and should please fans of that sort of thing.

“Tightrope Ride” is another meander through country music filtered through the Doors’ naturally eccentric style. Passable, but easily passed. “Down on the Farm” is probably worse, since it switches back and forth between a gentle music box melody and a dirty country ditty. A very unnatural combination, I should think.

“I’m Horny, I’m Stoned” is actually not bad. I can’t really recall the melody per se, but the presentation is hilarious, right down to the lyrics. For the most part it’s another boogie, but much stranger than anything else on the record, and collapses into studio laughter. Huh? Good show. “Wandering Musician” tries the ballad approach, but the result is pretty-without- atmosphere, and ultimately throwaway.

“Hang on to your Life” is an attempt at an epic. Oh yeah. Somewhere along the way, the lads recalled that Jim usually had one of those prepared for the closing of each album, so why kill a good thing? Well, because this is fairly lightweight jazz pop. It’s okay, of course, and nicely played...but the guys have no idea how to link anything together, which leaves it feeling kinda schizo. Not to mention a little pointless.

And there’s the rub, sad to say. Pointless. There is nothing WRONG with this album, but there’s also nothing RIGHT with it. Quality wise overall, it’s about par with Waiting For the Sun. But that album had, you know, a reason to exist. Without the atmosphere that Jim used to bring to the game, the band has lost more than a vocalist; it’s lost its voice. Not to mention a decent lyricist. Yuck.

But, pointless or not, the band is still an excellent trio of musicians. Capable of writing nice lil’ tunes and playing them to perfection. Whenever Ray steps in with some piano or Robbie gets a chance to flash his six string, well, it’s the Doors, playing their instruments again (“Ships with Sails”). So they’ve dropped gothic blues for eccentric roots rock, no one ever said the band was afraid to experiment. If something like art-country seems to fill your gullet with passion, give it a go. And honestly, any Doors fan who has liked Family’s rootsier side will probably be entertained by this. For the merely curious, you might be satisfied with “Ships with Sails” and “Eye of the Storm.” But then again, what do I know?

The Whistler | 3/5 |

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