Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Doors - The Soft Parade

8/10

This is the album with the horns and strings on it, and it gets shit on a lot because of that. I can't say that the marriage between the Doors and the overblown arrangements is entirely successful, but it's a lot more interesting than the banal, dull pop songs on Waiting for the Sun, and the orchestra isn't on every track so it doesn't get too old. This orchestra doesn't try to sound like classical music or a movie soundtrack at all; the best way I can describe it is that it's used the same way that some disco songs would use strings a decade later; they're cheesy but fun as hell. At least they don't smother the actual band members completely.
Even the non-orchestral parts are unusual for the Doors, but fairly well done. "Do It" and parts of "The Soft Parade" are surprisingly funky for a rock band in 1968, and Krieger busts out the twangy slide guitar a few times (which he'd rarely relied on before). Krieger's hillbilly vocal on "Runnin' Blue" is just godawful, though- what the hell was he thinking? The title track is also pretty good, if a bit disjointed; it feels more like a bunch of songs stuck together than "The End" or "When the Music's Over". The Soft Parade may be one of the more unusual Doors albums, but it's still fairly strong.

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