The Doors' last album before Jim Morrison's death stands apart from their earlier releases. Grittier and bluesier, it isn't representative of what made them successful, but has its own aura. The cover shot shows a grizzlier, chunkier Morrison, no longer the budding sex god, and his vocal delivery is that of a more mature hell raiser. Two additional musicians on rhythm and bass guitars are also featured, so that Ray Manzarek's keyboards, though still prominent, are less dominant. The result is that the band sounds less different from other bands than before, but they also sound more fluid.
Blues forms the main thread to the album. There are three straight examples of the form, but there are, as usual, surprises. 'L'America' is the most uncomfortable listening and reveals that Morrison still possessed plenty of menace. 'Love Her Madly' is deliciously light and melodic, Manzarek's piano skipping along, as is 'Hyacinth House'. 'Changeling' provides an earthy opening, while the title track fairly bombs along, allowing each member to stretch out. This is one of the album's trump cards, but two more are left until the end. 'Texas Radio and The Big Beat' sees Morrison on mischievous form and it does indeed feature a big beat. The crowning achievement is of course 'Riders On The Storm,' a soundtrack for psychopaths everywhere, full of beautiful sounds and dark dramas. Possibly not to every fan's liking, 'LA Woman' is nevertheless a superb performance.