With all the tenacity of a proto-experimentalist eight-track recording, Strange Days is the direct correlation to adaptivity that follows through growth and expansion on an already existing idea. The Doors take the initial plunge with the self-titled track, “Strange Days” that is a coalition of psychedelic rock elements that focus on a larger picture. Rather than just simply incorporating the same key figures from their debut record, Strange Days is a vibrant boost into even darker territory.
When the commencing seconds of the eerie keys are introduced, the mystery begins as if it was a circus act under an immense spotlight. When the curtain is then pulled back to reveal this pulsing percussive backing from John Densmore, the environment is flushed. Each member is slowly given a formal entrance where Robby Krieger on guitar, Ray Manzarek on keyboards and marimba, and with Jim Morrison on the vocal narration, Strange Days has this odd, but iconic opening. The entire performance feels foreign with this reverb placed over Morrison’s vocals and the rhythm becoming something unlike approachable rock n’ roll of the time.
There is a total of ten tracks with the final piece, “When The Music’s Over,” reaching nearly 11-minutes alone. With a large portion of “When The Music’s Over” being an instrumental structure that has sprinkled vocal screams from Morrison, the band delivers one of their strongest performances yet.
The guitars are a warping monster that engulfs the backing of the track while the keys build the foundation. It seems unwarranted, but the long runtime of the track is somehow forgiven by the way it keeps the listener busy without ever feeling as if it was a dragging and encumbering machine. The last lyrics that explain, “Music is your special friend, dance on fire as it intends. Music is your only friend, until the end.” The Doors just bring this raw emotional boundary and break it in the same hand.
Where Strange Days shines is in its ability to thrive in the loose, but exciting movements; Similar to a gorgeous summer day, The Doors bring this heightened sense of peace, even if that follows through a bad trip of uneasiness in the first moments.