The Soft Parade Review

artist: The Doors date: 06/10/2013 category: compact discs
The Doors: The Soft Parade
Released: Jul 1969
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: Elektra
Number Of Tracks: 9
"The Soft Parade" is easily the most challenging album in the Doors' catalog if not the most accomplished.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
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reviews (2) 4 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
The Soft Parade Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 16, 2005
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Sound: The Doors' 1969 follow-up from 'Waiting for the Sun' is very different to previous efforts, mainly because the song-writing is shared by Jim Morrison and Robby Kreiger. The skills of the band as a whole seems amost lost, and the listener can hear the separation between members. 'The Soft Parade' is right between the Doors' eery phase and coming into their blues phase. One would think that this culmination of styles would make for a better sound, but unfortunately the band seems to lose something in the transition. // 8

Lyrics: Morrison's lyrics are somewhat weaker than previous efforts, but the tole from drugs and heavy drinking has slightly changed his voice. Interestingly, Robby Kreiger supplies some vocals on tracks like 'Runnin' Blues'. // 8

Overall Impression: Standout tracks on the album include: Tell All The People - opening track, has a big band (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin) vibe, very different to previous Doors' tracks; Touch Me - classic Doors, first hit to feature Saxophone; Wild Child - really cool slide guitar thing happening, very blues based. The Soft Parade - long track in the tradition of songs like 'The End'. Classic opening dialogue. // 8

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overall: 8
The Soft Parade Reviewed by: jmb14, on june 10, 2013
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Sound: This was the last of The Doors' albums I needed and I put off buying it for a while because I heard it was their worst one. I bought this in a new record store that opened up not far from where I live. Part of the reason it is a fan unfavorite is because several of the songs have brass instrument accompaniments, showcasing the band's jazz influences. This is also the only one of the band's albums to credit each song individually, instead of to the group as a whole. This stemmed from Morrison being unhappy with the lyric "Get your guns" in "Tell All the People". One strong point about the album is that Robbie Krieger has a strong presence on the album, having written (or co-written) about half of the tracks. He is, sadly, often drowned out by the brass instruments, though I've noticed that the horns were only used on songs he wrote. // 8

Lyrics: This being a Doors album, the lyrics are either love 'em or hate 'em. The opening track is one of if not the most optimistic song in the entire Doors catalog; "Touch Me" is a standard love song. "Shaman Blues" is interesting. "Easy Ride" and "Do It" are the worst songs on the album; "Do It" is the only song where Morrison and Krieger share a credit and is better than "Easy Ride." "Wild Child" starts off the second half of the album and has one of their best guitar hooks. "Running Blue" is... interesting, different, but in a good way, and features Krieger singing the chorus. "Wishful Sinful," the last track with horns, and the second to last on the album, is another love song, though I like it better than "Touch Me," and Morrison does a superb job on it. The final and title track, "The Soft Parade," is different as well. It starts off with Morrison's "Petition the Lord with Prayer" poem before beginning the song proper. There's a strange section where Morrison sings "Peppermint, miniskirts, chocolate candy/champion sax and a girl named Sandy" which sounds odd, and adds little to the song. The end has an awesome section where Morrison doubled and tripled his voice, and it sounds like the lot of them are competing for the spotlight. Nobody can end an album like the Doors can. // 8

Overall Impression: I've grown rather fond of this album, though admittedly it's because it's the only one of their albums I haven't yet played to death. Like any album, it has its gems, and its flaws. The second half of the album is hands down better than the first. "Wild Child" is one of their heaviest songs, and "The Soft Parade" has an awesome breakdown. I could do without the brass, but they make it work; it's not as bad as I was afraid it'd be. My version of this record is not the remixed 40th anniversary edition, so if it were lost or stolen, I'd probably get the remixed version to hear the differences. Overall, it holds up to their 3rd, 5th, and 6th albums.

// 8

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