Review Summary: Despite being a bit of an improvement over Other Voices, Full Circle is still nothing special.
The year was 1967, the peak of the Summer of Love. In this very year, game changing releases such as Sgt. Pepper
, Are You Experieced
, and Disraeli Gears
were all released to wild success, with their influence still being felt to this day. But, there was one band that came along as well, releasing two albums in that year. They were known as the Doors, appropriately named after the Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, and they were a force to be reckoned with. They had a fearless frontman with an astounding voice known as Jim Morrison, and a rhythm section made up of Ray Manzarek on organ and bass, Robbie Krieger on guitar, and John Densmore on drums. Their debut proved to be an explosive force in the psychedelic era, with its gloomy atmosphere, right smack in the middle of feel good music. They would subsequently go onto release five more albums, but most of them didn’t quite reach the power of their debut, despite being excellent all the way through. Now, the year is 1971, and Jim Morrison is dead.
With Jim gone, what do the remaining Doors decide to do" Unfortunately, they decide to keep going on under the same name, without their explosive frontman. Releasing Other Voices
only months after Jim’s demise was their first move, and as to be expected, it was painfully average. Now, up to the present year of 1972, they have a new album to unveil, called Full Circle
. Other Voices
sort of saw the remaining members shaking off the blues of L.A. Woman
, and going for a jazzier, softer approach to their songwriting, and Full Circle
is where this sound fully comes into play. By bringing back the jazz elements of The Soft Parade
, this album actually doesn’t have as much of the awkward feel of the album that came before it, but it still doesn’t escape the shaky feeling.
is certainly more consistent than the album that predated it, but at the same time, it just isn’t. What I mean by this is the way the album flows is incredibly awkward, as it seems like the songs were simply cherry picked without any actual thought into how they sound side by side. The big difference that I already mentioned is the fact that this record is much jazzier than Other Voices
, but the overall sound is way too hollow and commercial to be anything special. While it’s nice to hear them indulge into a jam occasionally, it still doesn’t feel like anything we haven’t heard before. John has mentioned before that the band loved jazz, and this is easily the jazziest record in their catalog, but without Jim, it’s missing a very large piece to the puzzle. The vocals are very generic with very little charm or charisma, which are two things Jim always seemed to possess. Again, all of this equates into a very awkward feeling record.
So, it seems like the Doors didn’t learn anything from Other Voices
. While this isn’t a bad record, it’s just an incredibly underwhelming and passive one that doesn’t really hold any substance. While the jazz fusion elements are kind of nice, that’s really the only thing here that seemed interesting in any way. Songs such as “Get Up and Dance”, “Hardwood Floor”, and “It Slipped My Mind” are almost embarrassing to listen to due to their plasticity. So, this is more or less a generic jazz-rock record, and nothing more.