The Doors
Other Voices


2.5
average

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
June 15th, 2014 | 9 replies | 791 views


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If anything, Other Voices is a close reminder of how much Jim Morrison's talent was missed.

To coin a song, Jim Morrison was the very thing that lit the fire burning passionately within The Doors' most creative and invigorating works. And so at the fateful moment when he died on July 3rd, 1971, many believed that the fire would have died immediately, leaving behind the ashes of a musical legend. Prior to Morrison's death, all but two of The Doors' albums were regarded for the most part as masterpieces, and the legacy of these albums have indeed grown with time. After the death however, things inevitably changed for the worse. It wasn't entirely the fault of Manzarek, Krieger or Densmore that the band's seventh studio album, aptly entitled Other Voices, turned out to be little more than an average release.

The obvious reason why Other Voices is average is because there's little to no life involved in the general performance. To someone who has never heard a Doors song before, the likes of “Ships w/ sails”, “Down on the Farm” and “Wandering Musician” are fairly decent, and the blues-ridden structure of these three songs can be safely perceived as free-flowing pieces of music. Yet to the more experienced listener, who may or may not hold albums like Elektra as a musical pinnacle of the 70s, the aforementioned songs will come across as lazy, uninspired and (dare I say it) far too safe to enjoy. It's almost as if the remaining three-piece decided to write down idea s without any second thoughts and turn nothing into something. What's really strange however, is the fact that literally half of the album had been recorded with Morrison prior to his death, and that's really why songs like “Down on the Farm” just don't sound special in any way. The way in which the band very rarely seem to step out of their comfort zone here contributes to the lack of heart and soul, an aspect which for the first six years of The Doors' existence, proved fully worthwhile.

There is another reason why Other Voices didn't work well, and although this isn't quite as scarring as the way in which each song is as simple as can be, it's certainly more of a disadvantage than an effective twist. The vocal and instrumental performance of Manzarek and Krieger is bittersweet, simply put. There are times when both display a good vocal range (though not immediately memorable or heart-wrenching like Morrison had been), as on opener “In the Eye of the Sun” and “Tightrope Ride”, then there are times when this vocal delivery proves to be so weak that Manzarek and Krieger can barely keep up with the instrumental performance, a prime example of which being the album's most disappointing song, closer “Hang on to your Life”. Instrumentally, the album is affected in much the same way. The harmonica and keyboard work is particularly useful at certain points, as on the enigmatic outro of “Tightrope Ride” and throughout the entirety of “I'm horny, I'm stoned”, but elsewhere it just makes for a complete mess, making for a disjointed structure and consequently bringing songs like “Wandering Musician” (which wanders directionlessly for all of six pointless minutes) to an incomplete halt.

All this said, you really can't blame the remaining three-piece for having wanted to continue the well-renowned legacy of the band after Morrison's untimely death, but naturally, this was not the way to do it. Other Voices crumbles under a style where playing safe is an absolute must. No more had experimentation or a memorable rhythm played its part, and in their places arrived bland songwriting. Therefore, unless you are looking to complete your Doors discography, the band's seventh album should be left as it is.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2014


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The album has its moments, but can safely be ignored if you thought that The Door died with Jim Morrison.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2014


5770 Comments


Excellent review, dude. Haven't gotten around to this album yet but in the long run I kind of doubt I'll check this one out.

"The album has its moments, but can safely be ignored if you thought that The Door died with Jim Morrison.

Haven't heard any post-Morrison era Doors yet so idk, but I was sort of under that impression.

Digging: Moonsorrow - V: Havitetty

BMDrummer
June 15th 2014


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Was going to review this and maybe the other 2 post-Morrison records, but good review. It's sad that this was what one of my favorite bands ended up doing.

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

manosg
June 15th 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Glad to see this one reviewed! This album and the next one really show how important Morrison was to The Doors and the chemistry they had as a band with him at the forefront. Will you go for their last two as well?

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

BMDrummer
June 15th 2014


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As a bit of a race or whatever, depending on if you plan to review the next post-Morrison record, I'm writing something up right now. Figured I'd review one of the worst albums from one of my favorite bands.

manosg
June 15th 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That would be an interesting read. Full Circle is my least favorite of theirs but it deserves a review.

BMDrummer
June 15th 2014


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Will be up tomorrow

Kalopsia
June 15th 2014


933 Comments


my review for any post-Morrison Doors album:



No Morrison? No deal.
1.0

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2014


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@BMDrummer: Go for it man, this is kind of a warm-up review for me before I start getting into newer releases again.



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