The Doors
Strange Days


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 16th, 2010 | 46 replies


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it may not match their debut, Strange Days was an excellent follow-up, and features The Doors at their most pyschedelic.

The Doors’ music is strange. It is music for the different, the uninvited. It carries the listener into the shadowy realm of dreams. Part of their strangeness comes from the lack of a bass player. This leaves drummer John Densmore to keep the beat. His jazz sensibility keeps it tight, and unpredictable. Robby Krieger’s flamenco influence brings another layer of mystery. He never uses a pick, playing rhythm and lead with his fingernails. What the sound needs to work is brought in by Ray Manzarek. He discovers and electric piano bass and plays the bass line with his left hand, using his right for chords. The organ carries a hint of the carnival: both childlike and darkly disturbing. It’s no accident that the band’s second album features circus performers on its cover.

But if the band has a surreal fairground air, it is Morrison who is the frenzied trapeze artist. To Ray, he’s like an ancient shaman, leading his followers into world they never dare enter alone. Morrison is both innocent and profane. He’s a rock ‘n’ roll poet. Dangerous, and highly intelligent. No one has had this exact combination before. No matter how high he flies, his band mates are always there to catch him, and guide him back to work.


While The Doors was a sometimes dreamy, but ultimately focused album, the band’s second effort sees them descend further into a surreal atmosphere, resulting in their most psychedelic work. The opening title track, with its warped vocals and sudden bursts of energy, is a perfect tone-setter for coming songs: You’re Lost Little Girl, slow and dreary, but captivating; Unhappy Girl with its eerie keyboard sound; I Can’t See Your Face in My Mind, and Morrison’s short poem narration Horse Latitudes, a weak track when you set it apart, but fitting with the atmosphere of the record. The greatest psychedelic achievement is however the nearly eleven minutes long When The Music’s Over, continuing a tradition of lengthy closers on the group’s albums that started with The End.

Strange Days however also contains a few highlights that are more akin to the focused rock songs on their debut, which are some of The Doors’ best known songs. Nearly everyone has heard the famous lines of People are Strange, dealing with social alienation: ‘People are strange/when you’re a stranger/faces look ugly/when you’re alone’. The jumpy, energetic Love Me Two Times is another well-known Doors classic. The jazzy Moonlight Drive is special: it was actually that song that Morrison first sang for Manzarek on the L.A. beach, the song that impressed him so much he went on to start a band with Jim.

They’ve come a long way since then, and Strange Days may not match the strength of their debut, but it another excellent entry into a legacy matched by few. Delving deeper into a trippy, psychedelic atmosphere, The Doors’ second album sets itself well apart from their others, and is, naturally, a must-have for the fan.

Doors Classics:

Strange Days
Love Me Two Times
Moonlight Drive
People Are Strange
When The Music’s Over




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Paragraphs in italics adapted from When You're Strange - a documentary on The Doors. Enjoy.

porch
October 16th 2010


8459 Comments


this is their best album

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

after the debut

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


7312 Comments


Solid stuff (pos). Also, who made this documentary you speak of?

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_You%27re_Strange

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is it safe to borrow some passages from Wiki?

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uhm, I didn't borrow from wiki, I just gave a link to the article about the documentary on wiki.

porch
October 16th 2010


8459 Comments


you're going to jail scumbag

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It depends how you look at it sonic. I would definitely say it's a better film at telling the story of The Doors because it is way more objective, and because it feels way more authentic since they used only archive footage. Anyone interested in the band should check it out in any case, really makes you understand their music better.

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ah ok, I was wondering if we might pick up some passages out there, without being pursued. (in specifying that xy passage has been taken on Wiki)

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, I've only used the narration of the film, nothing from wiki. If it turns out that isn't allowed I'll get rid of it.

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let say that I copy/paste a whole paragraph from Wiki, and I mention in my text that I took it from Wiki. Is it risky or not...There is my question.
edit: word

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, articles on wiki are not professional, and are often put together by several people, so I guess it isn't really plagiarism.

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think one have to think twice before getting a picture out there. They warn people about copyrights. Anyways....
WE WANT THE WORLD AND WE WANT IT....
Review is incredibly interesting/well written. And kudos for being #4 Sputnik user!

WatchItExplode
October 16th 2010


3273 Comments


When the psychedelic freak out guitar solo of When The Music's Over hits I lose all control of my bodily functions...not pleasant just true

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I guess my productivity has paid off.

Nagrarok
October 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My uncle is a hard rock fan, but I don't believe he ever was much of a Zeppelin fan. He likes Slade and AC/DC, among others.

and stuff.

Spec
October 16th 2010


27190 Comments


Solid review. Pos.

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I knew the big names of rock because of my friends' big brothers and their huge collection. That's how I personnaly went from discoveries to discoveries.

Zizzer
October 16th 2010


915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I like this better than the self-titled debut actually.



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