Underappreciated: American Prayer by Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison is often dismissed as a poet — his lyrics are often ripped apart. Sometimes he was a dick, a drunken clown and a buffoon, sure, but that doesn’t mean all his work was worthless. I owned Lords & the New Creatures, American Night and Wilderness and hey there is work in there that stands up to anything Bukowski wrote. I will probably get bashed for saying that but sometimes I read Bukowski and wonder at what I am reading — when he’s great he’s great and when he sucks he sucks — Morrison is the same. There are some memorable lyrics, some iconic images and some interesting ideas. This album takes the readings and dresses them up with music that is as perfectly tailored to his poetry as it was to his singing. If you believe some accounts it isn’t what Morrison wanted for his spoken word but the fact that it is listened to and appreciated as something other than the music of The Doors might have made him happy. But it under-appreciated — it is something that turns up only after a bit of digging. People who find it get a lot out of it and sonically there aren’t many better settings than within the music on display here for what Morrison wishes to talk about. The band let his words breathe and never try to steal the show; they were very respectful I think — very creative. This is, the two Doors-sans-Morrison albums not really there sonically, the last real example of The Doors unit functioning in perfect harmony — regardless of the fact that it was recorded after one member’s death. The Lizard King couldn’t do everything but he had the balls to try at least — gotta give him kudos for that.