Thursday, March 13, 2008

No. 407: Strange Days

Band: The Doors
Album: Strange Days
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The Doors' second album is more eclectic and experimental than their debut. The results are fun, as the band gets funky on "Moonlight Drive" and bluesy on "Love Me Two Times." The signature darkness remains on the title track, as well.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: None of the songs are nearly as good as the band's best tracks. The experimentation makes for an uneven sound.
Best song: "Love Me Two Times" is probably the best track on the album.
Worst song: I find Jim Morrison's poetry to be putrid and "Horse Latitudes" is a spoken poem by Morrison as the band creates a cacophony in the background.
Is it awesome?: Nah.

I loved the Doors in my early teens and a lot of these songs are very familiar. My big task here is to determine the difference between familiar and good. I'm not sure I can do that well.

"Strange Day" isn't a great album, by any means. It's uneven and was something of a commercial bomb. The band experiments a little on the record as dark songs like the title track and even "People Are Strange." Both songs are nice little records, but not the pinnacle of alienation, as John Densmore later called "People Are Strange."

"When The Music's Over" is, in both time and theme, a crappier version of "The End." "Moonlight Drive" is a pleasant, pop-oriented song that sounds almost nothing like a Doors song. The blues guitar riff in "Love Me Two Times" is one of Robby Krieger's best, but nevertheless, not a great song.

Of course, Morrison's idiotic poetry also appears on the album, on "Horse Latitudes." That anyone gives a crap about the poetry is beyond me, but

It's a nice record and one of a band in transition, but it's hardly on the same level as the band's debut.

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