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Listen: "The End" MP3 Try pushing aside the poetry and the posturing and the posthumous commercial appropriation, and just really listen to this stuff.The interplay of Ray Manzarek's organ with Robby Krieger's guitar is one of the great grin-inducing pleasures in all of rock music; Morrison's manic showmanship and vocal expression are affecting and pleasing on the most very basic level.Nearly fifty years after the release of their self-titled debut album, they remain one of the most over-romanticized and over-mythologized bands of that decade, thanks to innumerable books, reissues, and films like Oliver Stone’s (actually not that bad) biopic and Tom Di Cillo’s frankly ridiculous documentary.Even more than The Beatles or The Stones, the Doors are popular because their edginess is easy to read, digest, and comprehend, even though they nod to depth without being deep and sing about breaking through without actually breaking through.Listen: "Five to One" MP3 Now, to be fair, rock is full of frontmen who did more with less, and besides, Morrison was more about words.He had poetic ambitions and even published a few volumes before his death.Instead of being truly confrontational and transgressive, they sound mediocre and undistinguished from their contemporaries — in other words, safe.
Reading Jim Morrison the poet is like watching a shirtless SAE pledge strumming James Blunt on his old acoustic in the university commons during spring break: totally insufferable, uninspiring, and distasteful. But Morrison's high-school emo-etry isn't the only reason that The Doors have lost their cred, and some of the posthumous baggage people dump on them seems unfair.
And that's where most of the appeal in The Doors lies — on those basic levels, and in those base, teenage instincts.
You don't have to be very smart, or patient, or sober to enjoy The Doors: just a sucker for catchy and mischievous hooks, passionate instrument-playing, and a little bit of pomp and swagger.
I have long since left my teens and my horniest years behind (I hope), but I still get a contact high from the propulsion and energy of The Doors' best tracks.
It's become embarrassing for music critics to admit to liking The Doors, and I think I know why.