year: 1971
rating: ***1/2

An underrated album, the first (and best) of two that came out after Jim Morrison took a permenent vacation to Paris. The first track EYE OF THE SUN sounds like LET IT ROCK by Chuck Berry but with more "spaceage" lyrics, and has some nifty slide guitar; Ray sings in his husky bluesy black man voice, and it opens up the album with a subtle charge. Track 2: "Variety is the Spice of Life", Robby's nasally voice leading a purposely goofy party-tune. My favorite track follows, "Ships W/ Sails", a Samba "Riders of the Storm" with flowing (sailing) guitars and hypnotic organ throughout; Ray's vocals mixed with Robby's is good yet the lyrics get a little corny ("Well, you asked how much I love you... Why do ships with sails love the wind?"): but the spontaneous jamming wins things over. "Tightrope Ride" shows Ray's vocal range and is one of the more rocking tracks. Side Two fares decently with "Down on the Farm", the album's ballad; "I'm Horny I'm Stoned", the slightly better, more catchy sequel to "Variety is the Spice of Life"; Robbie again having a musical freewheeling party with awesome leads and some honky tonk bar-room piano liken to "You Make Me Real". "Wandering Musician" is the album's clunker, going absolutely nowhere and very slowly at that. And we end with "Hang On To Your Life", which is most likely about Jim Morrison... what he didn't do... the tune leading with an African Rhythmic vibe and some really neat guitar licks join in (a poor man's "Sympthay for the Devil", but sounding great). Basically this is The Doors Lounge Lizard album - something you'd hear in a hotel bar in the Bahamas... but with a good tall drink. It doesn't live up to even the worst Morrison-Doors tracks (which there aren't many), but it's a fun ride overall. And quite a curio.

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