Sound — 9
Strange Days was the second studio album made by The Doors. Though not their best album, it is full of great tracks that really define them. Strange Days has a slightly different style than the first album. It has more psychedelic and dark subjects/traits such as "Strange Days" and "Horse Latitudes". Some of the tracks have instruments recorded backwards and have emotional, mysterious riffs. People with different tastes may be a little dissatisfied by this change. However, rock and blues elements are still there as in "Love Me Two Times" and "When The Music's Over". Unlike the first album, Douglas Lubahn plays bass on most of the songs in the album, which adds a grooving feel. Ray Manzarek still uses his keyboard to play bass on a couple of tracks. Robby Krieger has great guitar work with notable solos, and John Densmore's lively drumming adds energy to the songs. Despite the differences, The Doors sound great on Strange Days and they definitely meet the bar set by The Doors album.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are as great as to be expected by The Doors in Strange Days. The songs have deep meanings full of great metaphors and imagery. You can just picture the events in "Horse Latitudes" and imagine the feelings of being alone and unwanted in "People Are Strange". The title track "Strange Days" shows how they felt about era. Jim's stunning vocals are like the cherry on top. He sings with such a passion and fire that carries the feeling of the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Strange Days is a great but often overlooked album. Although it didn't get as much publicity as The Doors debut album, it is a must-buy for any Doors fan. 01. "Strange Days" - One of the more psychedelic Doors songs with Ray Manzarek on a Moog synthesizer. Jim's edited vocals combine with it to create a strange tone. I wasn't so crazy about this song when I first heard it, but it grew on me. It's a fitting title track for Strange Days. 02. "You're Lost Little Girl" - This is a slightly dark song with a nice bass line. All the instruments combine in a way that really stays true to the album. 03. "Love Me Two Times" - A classic Doors song that is still commonly heard on the radio. This has more of a lively blues and rock feel that helped this song to become as popular as it is. 04. "Unhappy Girl" - Another psychedelic sounding track with backwards piano overdubbed onto it. The words are great as well: "Playing solitaire, Playing warden to your soul, You are locked in a prison of your own devise." 05. "Horse Latitudes" - Definitely a dark and 'strange' song. The lyrics are about horses being thrown overboard in ships that had too much weight. The rest of the band dubbed in creepy sounding effects over Jim's singing. Although I don't like this song so much, what The Doors were trying to accomplish with this song, they did well. 06. "Moonlight Drive" - Supposedly Jim sung this song to Ray in 1965, which eventually led to The Doors forming. It has unforgettable lyrics, such as, "Let's swim to the moon, Let's climb through the tide, Penetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide". Robby plays wonderfully, especially with all the slides in the beginning of the song. 07. "People Are Strange" - Another popular Doors song with a catchy tune and noteworthy riff. The lyrics dig deep, speaking of loneliness and being estranged from everyone else. 08. "My Eyes Have Seen You" - Allegedly, the riff from this song was stolen from an old commercial, but it is great nonetheless. It is slightly upbeat and after a few listens you'll really like this song. 09. "I Can't See Your Face In My Mind" - A very mysterious, sad, and psychedelic track. The slowness of the song may turn some people off, but it is an example of good variety of the Doors. It features backwards tracks and dulcimer (or xylophone?) as well. 10. "When The Music's Over" - A grooving tune that starts off a little bit jazzy with the organ, but it is mostly rock. This song is a live staple of The Doors, and if you haven't heard a live version then you are missing out. Jim's aggressive singing really makes this song. The different sound in Strange Days may take some time to really affect some people. I'm more of a fan of The Doors' more blues-oriented songs, but I still fell in love with Strange Days. There are great Doors classics and good filler to keep the fire going.