The Doors captured America's counter-culture spirit in the late ‘60s, and despite a short career of only four years and six albums, they still inspire a whole new generation 40 years later. Rhino has released a new collection of the band's best tracks, the 34-track, two-disc The Best of The Doors.
Opening with “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” it also contains “Love Me Two Times, “Light My Fire,” “People Are Strange,” “Riders on the Storm,” “Hello, I Love You,” “L.A. Woman,” “Gloria,” and more.
Iglesias continues to move his Spanish-influenced style into the pure pop mainstream with “Insomniac,” which finds him crooning atop 15 slickly produced tracks. It opens with the deceptively melancholy piano of “Ring My Bells,” which builds to a steamy love song that shows off the crack of his romantic vocals. It's the first of several tracks with a salacious twist, including “On Top of You” and “Push,” a deliciously sexy and hypnotic track that is unfortunately capsized by a rap from Lil Wayne.
“Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)” is a Backstreet Boys-ready harmony hit that cleverly uses the sound effect of a ping pong ball as the rhythm in a song about being bounced around in love.
Unfortunately, by mid-disc, the songs begin to blend together in a swirl of pleasant harmonies and thumping basslines and Iglesias' sometimes achingly evocative voice turns into window dressing for songs that you'll forget before they're over.
“Insomniac” is a mixed bag that pairs sensual pop with forgettable slop. I'd rescue “Ring My Bells,” “Do You Know?” “On Top of You” and the techno-enhanced Spanish-flavored “Tired of Being Sorry” for your iPod and ditch much of the rest.
The Lost Patrol
Launch and Landing
This is one of those discs that I almost passed by. The cover treatment is bland and uninteresting, and the first strains of music from the speakers scream “indie band” – echoing reverb and a “faraway” kind of “recorded live” sound almost led me to hit the eject button.
But then I listened a little more to that spaghetti western bass and guitar and the sensual drifting vocals of Danielle Kimak Stauss. And soon, I was lured into the spell of The Lost Patrol. This is the band that The Raveonettes want to be.
Everything on “Launch and Landing” is drenched in surf-tone reverb…the drums are almost lost in a warehouse-y echo. But from the mix, Stauss' alluring vocals whisper and wail and sell every song. Sometimes sounding a bit like Echobelly in her pure-voiced delivery, and sometimes more shimmeringly ethereal, she leads the band through 13 tracks on this amazing sonic excursion, including a hidden extra track, “Shimmy” which is actually one of the best songs on the disc.
In “Only Love,” she croons amid a dreamy mix of retro keyboards to deliver the key lyric “only love will save you now” before the bass turns up a strutting gallop in “AWOL” and the “Rawhide/Ghost Riders in the Sky” style guitars take over for pretty much the rest of the album. The arpeggiating guitars and whispering delivery of the track “Speak to Me” is reminiscient of the original ‘80s incarnation of Throwing Muses, heavy on atmosphere and dark vibes.
The Washington Post called their sound “retro-surf-alternative-cocktail rock” which I suppose captures it as good as anything. This is an album that listens like a hip movie soundtrack. Dreamy, evocative, and catchy in a sneak-up-on-you kind of way.
Coolness factor: 10! Highly recommended.
To find out more on the band and to hear music samples, check out their site at www.thelostpatrol.com.