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My eyes have seen you,
This review is from: Strange Days (Audio CD)
"Strange Days" continued the breakout of the Doors, back in the flowering of the 1960s music scene -- which is admittedly a great place to start. Their sophomore album showed no signs of a slump, polishing up the rough blues'n'rock of their first album, and continuing into weirder, more intense territory.
It opens with the dark, hallucinatory beauty of "Strange Days," with Jim Morrison's rich voice singing distantly, "Strange days have found us/Strange days have tracked us down/They're going to destroy/Our casual joys..." His melancholy vocals are totally at odds with the energetic drums, keyboard and bouncy melody.
It's followed by the affectionate-sounding "You're Lost, Little Girl," and the deliciously stompy-bluesy "Love Me Two Times." Having hooked listeners in, the Doors spill out a stream of bluesy rock'n'roll -- sometimes it's dusty and raw, and sometimes it's flavoured with keyboard. And at the end there's a haunting pair of slow, atmospheric rockers -- the darkly enticing "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind," and the sprawling electrobluesy "When the Music's Over."
"Strange Days" does pretty much the same thing as the Doors' first album -- a catchy intro, blues-rocky middle parts, and a haunting, long outro that lingers in your mind. The big difference is that in this album, their music is less striking, but it is more polished and experienced.
That polish is especially present in the music -- Robby Krieger played some brilliantly flexible guitar, whether it was lean rock riffs or a funky little tune, and John Densmore was equally good with some quirky drums. Ray Manzarek flavoured the whole thing with marimba and colourful waves of keyboard. Most of the time this worked -- the only real exception is the dark, mildly frightening "Horse Latitudes," which is a good experimental track, but it feels out of place.
But Morrison gave the music that extra boost into genius. He had a rich, full voice that could flower into a croon, a murmur, or an impassioned howl. And his songwriting was pretty much poetry, full of strange imagery and passions ("The face in the mirror won't stop/The girl in the window won't drop/A feast of friends/Alive, she cried/Waiting for me outside...").
The Doors continued doing what they did best in "Strange Days," a blend of blues and psychedelic rock'n'roll. Definitely a deserving classic.