As soon as the first set of brass notes hit in opener “Tell All the People”, the band immediately communicate a change in sound and musical direction with their fourth studio album.
The Soft Parade is not Doors’ weakest album, and is worthy of being among their more acclaimed records. At this point, the band struggled to handle frontman Jim Morrison and his drug/alcohol abuse and the results are well-documented within this record. Frankly, Morrison sounds bored and uninterested, especially on track “Wild Child” where he sounds to be phoning-in his vocals whilst planning his next hit (not for the charts).
Musically, the album is pleasing. The band wander into new territory by incorporating brass and string sections within their tracks, with additional jazz and blues influences. “Runnin’ Blue” is a clear example of these influences with its brass-infused middle section. “Shaman’s Blues” brings Robby Krieger’s lead licks to the forefront of the sound, albeit for a brief moment in the album.
As in true Doors fashion, the closing title track of the record clocks in at over eight minutes long. Bookended by Morrison’s spoken-word poem, the track exhibits some of the best instrumentation and band chemistry found within the tracklist.
Favourite track: The Soft Parade // Least favourite track: Easy Ride