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The Doors - The Soft Parade CD (album) cover


The Doors



2.90 | 282 ratings

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3 stars The Doors performed on PBS in 1969 and played a great version of the then unreleased "Soft Parade" that made me anxiously await their new album. I was hoping for an improvement over the disappointing "Waiting for the Sun" but, after getting it home and on the turntable, I soon realized that something was definitely going sour in Doorsland. Starting with the forgettable "Tell All the People" in which Jim asks us to blindly "follow him down" it was apparent that his once-intriguing and thought-provoking lyrical prowess was being reduced to inane rhymes that meant nothing and silly song-ending statements like "Stronger than dirt" and "Do you remember when we were in Africa?" Being weird for weird's sake is not art. "Touch Me," however, did show the rest of the band was willing to take some chances and explore other musical ideas with horns and orchestration and the song works well on many levels. Jim's voice is confident and relaxed throughout the tune. But then we are subjected to a series of songs that are flat and uninspired to say the least. It isn't until "Wild Child" that we are treated to the kind of boldness the band excelled at. Morrison's voice is wonderfully sarcastic and snarling (at least until the unforgivable ending). "Wishful Sinful" is another interesting track that gave fans hope that they might yet pull out of their mediocre slump and start giving us new and innovative tunes again. But maybe they had already moved too far away from their roots by then and spending too much time dealing with their fame. In this song Jim sings "I know where I would like to be, right back where I came" and we can hear sincere longing in his voice. Unfortunately, the title track doesn't deliver in the same striking way that their aforementioned TV performance did for me. Yet it is still better than the majority of the rest of the album and may be one of their most progressive compositions ever (It keeps this album from falling to 2 stars). But by now it was becoming apparent to us "Doornuts" that the once-cocky and charismatic leader of the band was starting to succumb to his many demons when he asks "Can you find me soft asylum? I can't make it anymore." We were starting to believe him.
Chicapah | 3/5 |


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