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The Doors - An American Prayer CD (album) cover


The Doors



3.14 | 137 ratings

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3 stars Another kind of a DOORS album, released many years after Jim Morrison's death. So he's "speaking beyond the grave", so to speak. The band, mainly Ray Manzarek, added music to the poetry reading of Morrison - and it works damn well! I understand that many people rate this one lower than the real Doors output, but I like this thing quite a lot, even if it has at times a strong feeling of being just harmless background muzak to Jim's voice. Maybe deliberately so, emphasizing that this is primarily Jim's art and only secondarily the remaining band's art.

Was the Lizard King taking himself too seriously as a poet is not a question I see reasonable to ask, all I can say is that he's great as a reader of his poems. The listener is not left on a shore scratching his/her head about cryptic meanings; Morrison's intimate and yet powerful voice makes one SEE the pictures he paints with words. Think of 'The Movie', for example, which was for a good reason used as a sonic opener for Oliver Stone's film The Doors. Or 'Stoned immaculate', in which the narrator "once ran into two young girls / the blonde was called Freedom / and the dark one, Enterprise" (sorry if my memory is not perfect). Especially in this track the playing wonderfully fits together with the voice, with changing levels of intensity; in the end it's just Morrison: "out here there are no stars / out here, we are stoned immaculate." If I was to compile a DOORS anthology, I surely would like to include several tracks from this album (several already for the fact that they're relatively short in length).

There are some circulation of older Doors material. On 'The Hitch-hiker' the song 'Riders in The Storm' is heard on the background, making interesting contrast to the threadful hitch- hiking snapshot. "There's a killer on the road..." The inclusion of a live version of 'Roadhouse Blues' seems not that right to me. Maybe Manzarek and Co ran out of musical ideas before reaching an acceptable album length. And to be honest, this feeling comes in mind on some other places too. But it all ends beautifully with 'A Feast Of Friends' (I thought it's called 'Severed Garden'?) in which the melancholic music is based on Albinoni's Adagio.

Not an album to be overlooked, even if you weren't a die-hard fan of Doors/ Jim Morrison.

Matti | 3/5 |


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