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Thursday, June 18, 2009

29 in 2009 - The Doors: "The Doors"

The Doors: The Doors
Originally Released: January 4, 1967
Genre: Rock
Rating: 6 out of 10

When I first sat down to listen to this album, I took a look at the tracklist and recognized the name of two songs. Obviously, those two are "Light My Fire" and "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" - really, their two most-notable songs. I thought to myself, "Cool, I like those songs. I'll probably like this album." For the most part, that's true. The Doors' self-titled debut is a classic American rock album that's totally deserving of all the hoopla that surrounded it then and all the nostalgia that follows it now.

A quick note on "Break On Through"...Whoah! Could this be the greatest song to ever be Track 1 on a debut album? Probably. The song perfectly captures the essence of the band, and honestly whole feel of the late sixties (or at least what I imagine the late sixties to have been like). It's simplistic, honestly, though its power rests mostly within the ferocious howls of the legendary (yet overhyped) Jim Morrison. The song is followed by "Soul Kitchen," a song which may even be better than the album's famous lead-off single. That debate is to be had another day on another random blog. Not here, sadly.

Some of the album's better songs also include "Twentieth Century Fox," "Light My Fire," and "Take it as it Comes." The latter, unfortunately, is the sole track on the album's second half (or Side Two for you old folks out there) that is even remotely interesting to me. "The End," while completely open to dissection and discussion, as a song just doesn't do a thing. Twelve minutes of nonsense if you ask me.

So there are those four songs that I've mentioned enjoying; the rest is either just not my style ("The Crystal Ship" or "I Looked at You") or just downright poor ("Alabama Song" or "Back Door Man"). I can handle, "End of the Night" sometimes, but I just have to be in the right mood. You see, The Doors is not an awful album by any means, but it is definitely a debut; equal parts greatness and missteps. That's too be expected, I suppose, though it's a little disappointing considering the hype that surrounds the band. I guess when the "star" dies at 27, hype is inevitably part of the equation (does anyone care to argue that Nirvana was really that good?).

In these days of digital downloads, I'd be much more inclined to tell someone to download the handful of great tracks off of this album rather than go out and purchase the whole thing. That, to me, is a sign that an album doesn't deserve the "classic" label. So this one won't be receiving it from me. It is a good album though. Weak at parts, but definitely worth listening to.

And am I the only one that finds the organ annoying 90% of the time?

Verdict: Overrated

1 comment:

Double Hawk said...

I see where you're coming from, but I disagree with one thing: I thoroughly enjoy Alabama Song, I just like the way everything fits together in it. Very fair review though.