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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Aja

Steely Dan

1977

Aja

Album Summary

Aja (, pronounced like Asia) is the sixth studio album by the American jazz rock band Steely Dan. It was released on September 23, 1977, by ABC Records. Recording alongside nearly 40 musicians, band leaders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker pushed Steely Dan further into experimenting with different combinations of session players while pursuing longer, more sophisticated compositions for the album. The album peaked at number three on the US charts and number five in the UK, ultimately becoming Steely Dan's most commercially successful LP. It spawned a number of hit singles, including "Peg", "Deacon Blues", and "Josie". In July 1978, Aja won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical and received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. It has since appeared frequently on professional rankings of the greatest albums, with critics and audiophiles applauding the album's high production standards. In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."

Wikipedia

Rating

3.4

Votes

5383

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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Wed Nov 03 2021
2

I never got the fuss over this album, or indeed Steely Dan in general. I don’t know what this is or who it’s for. The whole thing feels like after dinner entertainment at an all-inclusive holiday resort - it’s not the worst evening you’ve ever had, but if you’re being totally honest with yourself you’d rather be somewhere else.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
2

Even trying to have an open mind, I spent the majority of the album hoping it would end soon. Each song was followed by another somehow even less interesting.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

It's technically perfect....Just not that thrilling.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
2

Look, I'm willing to admit the possibility that I'm listening to this album from too modern of a perspective. But it's not good is it? The songwriting is bland, the arrangements are mediocre, and the performances are lackluster. The ONLY reason this album is saved from a one-star review is that the engineering and production are out-of-this-world good. I don't know when the last time was that I heard such crispy drums and such a perfectly balanced stereo mix. This production is so good. It's just a shame it's wasted on such a turd of an album.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
2

I don't know why I thought I liked Steely Dan

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Mon Oct 05 2020
5

STTEEELLYYY DANNNN

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Tue Apr 19 2022
4

Goddamn Steely Dan, you dildo-name-thieving fucks. You make lackluster songs, bathe them in sanitizing liquid until the recording is so clean it could be eaten off of, and then you get the fucking best musicians in the world to actually make them sound good. How do you expect me to cope with Gadd and Purdie on the same album? Fuck you. Four Stars.

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Thu Oct 28 2021
2

Why

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Tue Oct 11 2022
2

I. Just. Do. Not. Get. It. This isn't my first attempt to listen to this album and I made it all the way through this time. Occasionally, I like what's happening on the guitar. But overall it this music has as much edge as a tub of butter. Why is this band and this album so revered? Wouldn't you rather just listen to prog rock?? Or jazz?? Or butter??? Help me.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
1

i just really don't like steely dan. the drummer on this album (apparently bernard purdie) was excellent, but i just hate everything else about them.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

Somehow overrated and overlooked at the same time. It’s an exceptional album, one of the best of that decade. But let’s talk about Led Zep IV or Dark Side of the Moon some more please.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

A jazz-rock album which fuses cool jazz, blues, and pop into a masterpiece of an album. The production and mixing are amazing; filling soft melodies with jazzy solos and rich background instrumentals which flow seamlessly with each track. Favorite tracks: Aja, Deacon Blues, Home At Last

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

Great Jazz-Pop-Rock fusion album. Very well produced with no filler. So many dynamics and rhythm changes and syncopation throughout, really fun listen. Favourite Tracks: Peg, Deacon Blues, Home at Last

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

Get the yacht sailing… we’re heading to key west for some sunshine and cocktails!

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Mon Jun 07 2021
3

Well produced, well played, just not my cup of tea. It was pleasantly listenable, but that's about it.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
3

It's a fine album with great sound, flawless production and expert musicianship. Just not the type of music that draws me in. Sometimes sounds like elevator music. 3.5 🌟

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Tue Nov 09 2021
3

3.1 - I can appreciate its musical complexity and technical prowess but I just don't enjoy this record. I gave it two spins. By most accounts it's a triumph - I've read critical reviews that say this sound is as \"ageless as intelligence.\" Then consider me part of the unwashed masses - I'm not a fan. That jazz-rock combo sounds sterile and smarmy as muzak.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

The epitome of boomer dad rock. It's fine but safe and never takes risks.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
3

Another proof that complexity and flawlessness doesn't guarantee an enjoyable listen. I mean, it's great; jazz rock fusion, incredible production, nice instrumentals... it's an easy listen. But I don't think I will come back to it. I can see why it's considered awesome, but ultimately, it felt bland as a listen.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
2

Musical beige.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
2

At one point during the title track, I thought to myself, "This one has to be over soon, right?" and when I looked at the elapsed time, it wasn't even halfway done. What a slog. Give me their earlier stuff, but not this. This is yacht rock with extra steps. Best track: Josie

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Tue Sep 27 2022
1

This is not a good record. 90% of it is filler. May be a competitor for most dad rock album of all time.

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Mon Oct 24 2022
1

Well prepared, forgettable soup. Didn't hate this. Unfortunately though, it elicited no discernible emotional response beyond apathy. What is music if not to lift the soul? There's some thought behind the lyrics - but the music they're saddled with is so non-descript it's hard to care less. All the nuance is lost in the cloying do-bops and tsch-bop-bops that smother the record like an unremarkable blanket. Probably at one point I've heard snippets of this in a hotel lobby but I don't know because I wouldn't remember it; case in point ended up listening to most of the album twice for the purposes of this because it fused with the background noise on the first occasion. Trying a little harder on the second attempt, the initial chord progressions in the unfathomably beloved Deacon Blues set the scene for a whole bunch of nothing to happen, and as listeners, we're not proved wrong with this assumption. Music should make you feel alive, this is beige soup for beige people with beige lives and beige ambitions who live in beige houses and drive beige cars to beige stores and ask for a manager when they get there because beige products are out of stock. There's a scene. And Steely Dan is playing in the background, naturally. So anyway, it was dull. Maybe one day I'll hear it again and not even know. 1/5

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Wed Sep 30 2020
5

One of the best albums of all time!

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Perfection

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Beautiful instrumentals, I enjoyed this album very much.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

One of the finest albums recorded in the 1970's

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Sat Jul 03 2021
5

Sweet Rosalie, she's working at the five & dime train back to Hackensack with rosemary wine Yo-deedle doidle dee, cocaine We both like to do cocaine

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

I mean... Not only is there not one bad song on the album, there are a bunch of absolutely classic bangers.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Phenomenal, of course.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

This one is so good. I’ll stretch to a five

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Love this album. It's nearly perfect.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

Hey, do all of you not know a lot about Steely Dan?

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

The songs on this album are more homogenous and less adventurous than prior Steely Dan albums but the production, arrangements, and the cast of thousands (including Wayne shorter) who played and sang are brilliant. Full disclosure: I watched the making of Aja on Classic albums (Youtube) a few years ago. For one track they had different studio musicians submit guitar solos and then they picked the best one. Definitely not rock n’ roll.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
5

Jävligt bra. Väldigt bra trummare

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

Another incredible Steely Dan album. I prefer Countdown to Ecstasy/Pretzel Logic/Katy Lied, but this album hits all , the right notes and has some amazing songs. “Deacon Blues” might be one of my favorite Steely Dan songs, and it might well be a paradigmatic Steely Dan song. They write about losers and castaways and shady, shitty characters down on their luck and this song captures that ethos so well (“They’ve got a name for the winners in the world/I, I want a name when I lose/They call Alabama the Crimson Tide/Call me deacon blues”). “Peg” is another song about a figure with aspirations down on their luck, this time an aspiring actress who ditched her boyfriend for her dreams of stardom. “Black Cow” is about some down on his luck schmuck confessing about his faithless girlfriend. However, this album has more of Steely Dan’s cryptic songwriting on it than albums past, and less of their sardonic wit. The title track is almost impenetrable, it seems impossible to make meaning out of it (although the instrumental break that punctuates the middle of the song is hypnotic). The three closing tracks stand over the end of the album like a riddle, each growing more convoluted than the last. There isn’t much hope of finding a consistent story in any of them, but they’re fun to listen to and the lyrics can provoke a response even when they fail to cohere into a story. An incredible album, I love it. 9/10.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Masterpiece

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Sat Jun 26 2021
5

Smooth Yacht Rock. BT: Black Cow, Deacon Blues, Peg

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

4.5/5. I'm surprised I enjoyed this one so much, it's not the kind of genre I usually listen to. Everything just works for me, fav tracks: deacon blues/peg

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

Amazing :)

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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

stejsi pogszamp

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

Fab album, always good to listen to it and the sax is out of this world

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

If I could give more than 5 I would!

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Релакс! Приятный софт-рок!

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Fri Aug 06 2021
5

Freaking fantastic

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

The sound is just immaculate and the songs are fantastic. Can’t ask for more

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

Love Steely Dan! Superb, laid-back easy listening music

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Sun Sep 26 2021
5

The title track is worth the price of admission. Add "Deacon Blues" and "Peg" to the mix? Amazing. Fantastic album. The players are just fantastic. The drumming on the title track has been so talked about that any comment feels redundant. It's just beautiful.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Great production and super slick performances.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

5 stars. I think this album is as close to perfect as Steely Dan gets. It has everything I want when I’m looking for something chipper and interesting

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

A masterpiece.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Love it

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

absolutely fabulous soulful jazz album!

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

One word, Classic.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

great album. jazz rock. lots of weirdly cool stuff

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

Getting some Billy Joel vibes with this one in some songs, but man what a good listening, well produced album. Thoroughly enjoyed

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

Difficult to look at this impartially, being one of my favourite and frequently played albums, so I’ll just gush. I kind of understand some people’s “bland/Muzak” perception. I don’t often “get” much punk, early Country or a lot of hip-hop, but... ... This album has amazing musicianship - albeit very calculated and brilliantly produced. The antithesis of punk. Love the funky pop of Black Cow, I got the news, Peg, the mature jazz crossover of Aja, the sophistication of Deacon Blues and the rock of Home at last and Josie. A perfect timeless album.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
5

This is my favorite Steely Dan album and one I’ve listened to many times in my life. My Dad used to play it a lot, and it holds up. It’s not my typical type of music, but I really love it.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Meni je ovo bilo savršeno. Ovaj lagani jazz/rock je melem za uši. Čak sam dva puta poslušala. Evo jedna petica.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

Love this album!

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

Jades a neatly cut album, very enjoyable!

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

wow, great album. An unexpected gem!

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

I get that some people just do not like Steely Dan. Heck as a kid when they would come on the radio - and they did, often - I pretty much hated them. Smooth but weird...songs that didn't necessarily have the standard structure I was accustomed to. Then again I was a stupid kid. It's different and I guess that was what i didn't like at the time or freaked me out or whatever, but this is ridiculously-complex and good music. Is/was it pop? rock? fusion? jazz? who knows, probably all of the above and who cares. Can't even pick out a favourite song - literally good from beginning to end but if forced I might pick "Aja" as the unique standout. Also of importance: you just cannot listen to this album through a phone speaker, you've got to put on either earbuds/headphones, or play it through a decent stereo. Without succumbing to boredom about how amazing the studio techniques and worldly session musicians were... if you're listening to this for the first time just make sure you at least give it a chance in this way. It's one of the most celebrated *recordings* of all time for a reason - the clarity and fidelity are pretty much perfect. Jazz rock may not be my favourite subgenre but I'm not sure an album gets much better than this. 9/10 5 stars

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

Now that's what I'm talking about! I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Steely Dan combines jazz and soft rock so well. Highlights: Black Cow, Peg, Home At Last, I Got The News, Josie

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

Love steely Dan. Good tunes

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Amazing album, would almost say its a no skip album. Amazing fusion of funky and jazzy styles with a consistent upbeat rhythm. Favourite songs are Black cow and Deadon blues. A suprisingly short album considering the amount of great songs in it!

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

One of the best-sounding records ever made. Even if lush 70s jazz-rock is not your thing you can marvel at the playing and production. Wayne Shorter's solo, the chorus to Deacon Blues...it's pleasures are endless.

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

It’s amazing how on paper this band sounds like the most uncool thing, but in practice they’re cool as all fuck.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

One of the greatest albums of all time.. This one easy.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

Amazing album. Current favorite song: Black Cow, Josie.

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Sun Apr 24 2022
5

The legendary stories about the production and musicianship of this album are true. It sounds amazing, the quirky narration pulls you into the stories about these characters, and it's just an overall enjoyable listen. I liked every song except two: Aja and I Got the News.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

How could you not like steely Dan?

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Tue May 17 2022
5

Man! Shoutout till denna skiva prpr. All kritik om överprocessering tycker jag att är dum, det vanliga felet med album som förädlas för mycket i studoon är att de låter tråkiga. De låter sterila, inget unikt eller intressant. Överprocesserad musik tappar all swag. Det här albumet är inte en gnutta överprocesserat trots att det låter helt perfekt... för INGET låter så här, liksom på riktigt. Alla instrument låter härliga och fylliga, lager kommer in och ut, saker kommer in och ut ur låtarna på ett så absurt perfekt sätt.... och musiken har swag, den greppar en, vilket är det viktigaste. Donald Fagen äger också, hans nasala scumbag ass sångröst ger de elaka nedlåtande lyricsen liv, men visar ändå nån sorts iakttagande empati för de patetiska karaktärerna som fyller ut låtarna på albumet. Önskar det fanns mer sånhänt pr, det rör mig på ett sätt få saker kan, ofta är musik om empati lite väl... ointressant? Deacon Blues är en av mina favoritlåtar nånsin, och resten ligger inte långt bakom. Peg, var jag svär att backup vocalsen byter ut Fagens "Foreign movie" till "Porno Movie", något som får karaktären som sjunger sången (som ja feelar e om att få en skådespelerska av en sort eller annan att fortsätta sin karriär fast hon int alls vill) till henne att kännad så vidrig att jag spyr medan Peg då indirekt får lite empati från låtskrivarens håll. Och en hel massa från lyssnaren... (Teorin e kanske ba bs fö ja ha int läst lyricsen) Black Cow karaktären låter så småsint att de bara äger, Aja förutspådde patetiska anime-nördar 1977, Josie får jag mer sliskvibbar av... helt enkelt en lätt 5 stjärna....

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Tue May 17 2022
5

This is like Revenge of the Nerds but instead of sexual assault they made one of the best (produced) albums of all time

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Tue May 17 2022
5

Verkligen ett bra album!!!!

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Sun May 22 2022
5

TEAMO

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Sun May 22 2022
5

I mean, what can you say about a classic like this that hasn't already been said. There are so many hits on here. I think I had a best of album when I was younger because I do recall listening to these occasionally. The only track that got a little manic was I Got The News. It was a little too experimental for me. Not the normal smoothness of Dan.

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Mon May 30 2022
5

Steely Dan’s masterpiece is a complex album of accessible jazz rock that features prominent bass lines, jazz chord changes, funk rhythms, and virtuosic playing. This album is incredible tight, yet features some fantastic exploration. The guitar work alone would place this album at a 5, but it’s the combination with the bass, keys, drums, and brass that makes this one of the greatest albums of all time. It may sound self-indulgent to some, but this album manages to push popular forward in a more musically literate direction while maintaining its commercial viability

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

Probably my favorite album ever. The high water mark of what all popular music should aspire to be. You just have to listen to it. 10/10

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

10/10. One of the best ones out there

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Sat Jun 11 2022
5

One of the most underrated highly critically claimed albums. As in, everyone loves this album, past and present, but a lot of people listen to it and "so what?" Based on the user reviews on the Internet, especially on this site, people can acknowledge it tries to be something grand but that it falls flat. I argue that it succeeds in what it tries to do and deserves all the praise, but I won't spend time detailing the music theory so I hope other 5 stars get the upvotes. I think for a lot of people, this album is just too unfamiliar. It's jazz rock, but it's not like anything you listen to. Closest thing is Chicago. I will say this is my favorite Steely Dan album. I might play Can't Buy a Thrill more just cause it's more fun to vibe too and has the hits, but this album has the intricacies that I enjoying picking out. It's 7 tracks in 40 minutes, which each minute perfected. There aren't any drawn out moments, no unnecessary repetition or formulas being rehashed. Each track innovates constantly to feel fresh. Instruments pop in and out of nowhere, getting their highlight. Production is magnificient, no one sounds buried, it's never busy. They're fantastic songwriters, and there are so many moments in the album where they have these ideas in their heads they have to bring studio musicians in to replicate. Soul influence in Black Cow, disco influence in I Got The News, and all sorts of artsy jazz all over. My favorites tracks are in the middle.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

This is where the buck stops here. This is it. The crystallization of the aura that Steely Dan were hoping to possess is on here. Aja would make most bands careers but for Steely Dan, not only was it a Tuesday but yet another stop on their road to glory. Phenomenal album, best listened to with either quality headphones or a quality sound system. As probably best intentioned.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

From me, this would get 3 stars just for being Steely Dan. Add a star for Josie and another for the overall album.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

An audiophile's wet dream. The classic album to test stereo systems and whatnot. Meticulously detailed but has a seemingly effortless flow to it. Perhaps the greatest confluence of jazz and rock music outside of Miles Davis. Smooth as the baby powder that cut the cocaine they used while making this album.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Yummmm

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

One of my all time favorites! Legendary album by a Legendary band

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

Love

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Klasyczna plyta, a dzisiejsze pojawienie sie jej na liscie wreszcie pozwolilo mi rozwiazac zagadke tajemniczej okladki tego albumu, bo przed dzisiejszym odsluchem widzialem wstege, a teraz dostrzegam tam pania azjatke gustownie wymalowana, rodowod modelki nie jest tutaj bez znaczenia, bo nawiazuje on do samego tytulu Aja, czytanego jako asia, krazek z 77 bedacy szostym punktem w dyskografii duetu, a jednoczesnie ich peakiem tworczym, w ktorym synteza jazzu rocka z popowoscia jest w idealnych proporcjach, wiec zarowno mozna cieszych ucho unikalnymi gitarkowymi rifami, dac sie poniesc chwytliwym beatom klawiszowo drumowym, czy uraczyc sie harmonijnymi wokalami z liryka z podwojnym dnem i interesujaca zarowno sluchacza radiowego, jak i kogos kto szuka czegos wiecej niz doslownych znaczen, bo duet swietnie wlada zartem i sardonicznym humorkiem, tyle razy juz sluchalem tej plyty, a to 40 minut podzielone na siedem trakow nigdy nie przestaje cieszyc i brzmiec swiezo za kazdym razem, plyta z ktorej nie ma co dodawac wiecej na plejke, bo najlepiej konsumowac w calosci, ale hajlajtowymi utworami z dzisiejszego odsluchu beda dla mnie deacon blues, czyli jeden z bardziej trafiajacych w czlowieka kawalkow bandy, zwlaszcza gdy ktos jest typem przegranego, wiec latwo utozsamic mi samego siebie do postaci deacona, a kolejnym bedzie home at last, moze to kwestia pewnej tesknoty za swoim katem, ale tez ze wzgledu na nawiazania do jednej z najbardziej epickich opowiesci awanturniczej jaka zrodzila kultura hellenistyczna, wiec chodzi o odyseje

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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

I have heard this many many times. It is phenomenal.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Love the Michael McDonald backing vocals on Peg, I got the News. Every song 5/5. Steely Dan at their best.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Always so perfect

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Good album to work, relax, background music. Would listen again.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

I went looking through some of the negative reviews of this album. It was interesting to see what naysayers had to say. "They took no risks." - First off, the band was polished, and playing a great blend of smooth jazz and rock. I don't see many other bands doing this type of music. Not sure what KIND of risk you are hoping for. "The songs went on forever." - Punk songs go on for only a few minutes. One thing I found interesting is I always think of "Aja" being this epic song. But "Deacon Blues" (which I love) is about the same length. So I can see people being a little squirmy for songs at 8 minutes long. (Although I do not have a problem with it.) So it really comes down to not liking the style of the songs. And really, the pieces here are great. Even the ones that did not get traction on the radio. The secret weapon here is Michael McDonald. God, "Peg" is just such an astounding song. And MM's background vocals... just SLAY me every time. "Black Cow" was one of the tracks on a best of I heard and was like... "WOW!" Josie I think I heard here, first, but it grew on me really. The two songs left are not as great, but they still are really good. If you haven't watched the Classic Albums series about this one, find it up on youtube or somewhere. It's really insightful to this album. And like they said, it IS a classic album.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

One of the best albums of all time. Not Steely Dan's best album, but one of the best.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Never really knew what Steely Dan did. This is a great introduction and has some amazing songs.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

This might be one of the best-sounding albums I’ve ever heard. Everything about the album is crystal-clear. Great instrumental performances and vocals. Standout tracks are “Peg” and “Deacon Blues”.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

Own this on vinyl. Very nice.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

10/10 same as what I said before about Steely Dan when I quoted walter white lol seriously, one of my favorite bands

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Fantastic album. Favourites after the first time listening: Aja, Peg, Home At Last

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

09/30/22 Incredible production. Not my favorite collection of steely Dan. But got what amazing cruise music.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

A classic

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

I've been told that Aja is Steely Dan's magnum opus. I still don't know if I agree. I've been listening to Steely Dan for as long as I can remember. Well I should say I've been listening to one singular song of theirs: Reelin' in the Years (it's in the soundtrack for a baseball movie my family watches every year). And that one song, along with a few other of their hits from "Can't Buy a Thrill" have essentially been my only exposure to the band. In the past few years I've gone out of my way to listen to a few more of their hits, and even some deeper cuts (Hey Nineteen, Doctor Wu, Jack of Speed) but nothing off Aja. And I think that simple fact makes me dislike the album just a little more than I really ought to. It's too... jazzy. "But you love jazz!" Well, yes. But my perception of Steely Dan does not consist of vamps and improvisation, instead I think of catchy melodies with fun lyrics and great harmonies that really let the vocals pop. It's cool guitar riffs and bass lines that mainly serve to support said vocals. But Aja is more than that, and therefore more than I expected going in. The vocals take a backseat. And to a guy who's fallen in love with Steely Dan because of their biggest hit whose vocals carry the piece... it feels off. I can pretty confidently say that had Aja been the first Steely Dan album I had listened to, it would be one of my favorites. The jazz and funk elements come together with a classic rock sound where beautiful melodies are gracefully rested atop luscious guitar riffs and elegantly composed piano pieces. Where grooves in "Josie" and "Peg'' allow for glorious solos and improvisations, with perfectly timed transitions and crisp instrumentation. I love this album. But hearing it from my perspective, it sort of sits in an uncanny valley, where the band's new direction feels... wrong. The shift in focus from vocals to instruments is one I almost always support. And I wish I could support this one more than I do. high 4.5/5

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Masterpiece!

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

I said that I was going to hold back on 5 stars right before I got this album lol What can I say, I love the Dan. I gel with Fagen and Becker’s sense of humor, their wordplay, and their jazz-meets-rock sensibilities. This is as good as their sound ever gets, although I also have a soft spot for Katy Lied. Still, I like how the big, progressive tracks are sequenced early on to get them out the way for listeners to familiarize themselves before going back to the lighter, catchier tracks. It’s a screw you to a big sect of the audience, and it works splendidly. A

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

If anyone asks me my favourite Steely Dan album, depending on the day and the direction the wind blows I might say Katy Lied, Gaucho or even Can't Buy a Thrill. But I always follow it up with "...though really, it should be Aja." Why? Because it's immaculate. And perhaps that's why it's not quite top of the tree for me. It's like gorging on chocolate, and washing it all down with yet more chocolate. There comes a point where you a bit of grit or nastiness is welcome. However, for all that, and for all the carping that the Dan sacrifice emotional truths on the altar of technical ecstasy, it's wonderful. Oblique lyrics about disaffected demimonde America, compositions that successfully combine pazz 'n' jop, crystalline production, some outstanding individual musical performances - they're all here. Gimme more chocolate...

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Here's the thing - I really like Steely Dan. I don't know much more about them than the music. I've never seen them live. I got their box set at some point during film school and it was one of those situations where you listen to something and you like every single song you hear. As if you'd heard it all before. And some of it I had heard before, but the deep cuts were just as good if not better than the hits. And among Steely Dan albums is probably my favorite. I like the way it sounds, I like that it sounds like easy listening and the subject matter is drugs and porn and losers. And Ulysses, I guess? I love it.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Great tracks, really tight band, Deacon Blues is stuck in my head at least once a week.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

it's steely dan babyyy

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Wed Oct 19 2022
5

This album is killer. Deacon Blues is a masterpiece. Peg is great. All these songs are awesome.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
5

Amazing album. Rare musicianship and songwriting ability.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
5

T3B 1. Deacon Blues 2. Peg 3. Josie Don’t get much better than Steely Dan. Especially with their best album? Every song so jazzy, rocky hard to stay still. Easy 5.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
5

LET'S FUCKING GOOOO LET'S GO STEELY FUCKING DAN OH HELL YEAH i joke a lot on social media but steely dan really is the pinnacle of white people soul music there's so much complexity in their songwriting but it still manages to be the catchiest, hookiest shit in the world. i have no idea how they manage to so effectively combine music theory and pop sensibility black cow is so fucking catchy. the title track is high art. deacon blues is maybe the best song ever, i'm not kidding. this album has PEG on it dude, on top of all of the rest of these fucking songs. what a work of art i don't even have the words to describe why steely dan brings me the amount of joy they do, but this band is an integral part of my very being and that will never change. all hail fagen and becker

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Fri Nov 27 2020
4

Incredible playing, but in places, a little too slick. I prefer some of their other albums, but it's still a great listen.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

This is on-paper not up my alley, but I cannot help but be charmed every time I hear it.

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Wed May 26 2021
4

A very tight set of songs. Reminds me of Weather Report, but slightly more accessible. My former boss is a huge fan, and while it's not totally for me, I see the appeal. Favorite tracks: "Deacon Blues", "Peg"

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Fri Apr 23 2021
4

So great

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

This album is a straight vibe. Great intersection between rock, jazz, and new age sounds. Album is a collection of art. Stand-outs: Deacon Blues

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

jazzy i like

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

top track black cow really vibes jazz. every track was about 6 mins and u could tell. but I liked the music lol

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

dan really did it on this one :^)

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

John Mulaney said I had to like this or else

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Sat Jun 05 2021
4

Jazzy

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Mon Mar 08 2021
4

Well made, pleasant to listen to.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

My ears naked lunch’d but gently, oh so gently. Thumbs up - Don’t judge me.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

Not really a Steely Dan 'guy,' but this record is so easy and good to listen to.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Truly a classic - Peg, Black Cow, and Deacon Blues alone are worth putting it on the 1001 list, but there's 4 more great cuts as well! Only reason I'm not giving it 5 is that I rank it 3rd in SD's catalog after Pretzel Logic and Gaucho

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

(Jazz rock / Pop rock) Extremely well-written jazz rock that still sounds contemporary thanks to the quality of the session musicians and production. However, the 'softness' of yacht rock detracts from an otherwise stellar album. 8/10

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Superbly produced album with expert musicmanship. I read a long time ago that Deacon Blues has the best lyrics ever and I can't argue with Learn to work the saxophone (I) I play just what I feel Drink Scotch whiskey all night long And die behind the wheel They got a name for the winners in the world (I) I want a name when I lose They call Alabama the Crimson Tide Call me Deacon Blues The rest of the album is not as brilliant, but it is still pretty darned good so it gets a 4/5 from me

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Mix of jazz, R&B and disco. 70s sound. Very good

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

always love steely dan

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Highlights: Deacon Blues, Peg Lowlight: Ironically...Aja 70's Jazz/Rock fusion and velvety lyrical prowess never sounded better. This isn't just a musically excellent album, it's also a sonic masterpiece; Every beat, crash, strum, pluck, and chord is deliberate and represented with crystal clear clarity, with plenty of space between to catch your breath. There is nothing overwhelming here, classics like Peg will have you tapping your toe...Even with tracks like Josie where there is more complexity, nothing is edged out or muddy. This is a well-built album.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

Zum ersten Mal aufmerksam geworden auf Steely Dan bin ich, als Carsten "Erobique" Meyer ca. 1997 in der "Komm Küssen" irgendeine Plattenbesprechung abschloss mit den Worten "Ich muss jetzt erstmal Steely Dan hören". Ich kannte die damals nicht, fand den Spruch aber sehr gut und hab dann versucht rauszufinden, was es so auf sich hat mit der Band. Die waren dann lange und sind mir eigentlich bis heute ein Rätsel, vermutlich weil einfach zu schlau für mich. 2 Konservatoriumstypen, so weit wie nur vorstellbar von Punk und/oder Rockstarattitüde entfernt, aber ihre Band nach nem Dildo benennen. Sowas schon allein. Hab ich mich mit abgefunden, und steh jedenfalls schon seit einigen Jahren immer mal wieder total auf diesen yahzzigen Yachtrock-Style. Und möchte mich jetzt auch noch mal kurz für diesen Ausfall neulich gegen YES entschuldigen, von wegen "Angebermusik". Weil: eigentlich find ich sowas ja total gut, und Steely Dan trifft natürlich voll in dieses Klischee, dieses ganze ausgestellte Raffinement, die audiophile Produktion, Saxophonsolos von Wayne Shorter etc. Dabei aber halt viel luftiger, samstagmorgentauglicher verpackt als eben YES - und also meinen Nerv trifft das. Voll. Aja (auch wieder son Rätsel: wieso man eine Platte nach der Freundin des Brudes von einem aus der Highschool-Klasse benennt, mit dem man nicht mal viel zu tun hatte) werde ich mir jedenfalls gerne noch öfter, und gerne mit guten Kopfhörern anhören. Und freue mich dabei schon auf die ganzen neuen Ideen jedesmal.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Me gusta. Mezcla jazzística muy relajante.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

false

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Tue Mar 16 2021
4

Loving this, funk ahoy

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

Echt heel tof en nog best wel van deze tijd! Heb dit album ol vinyl, maar pas een keer geluisterd. Echt een eye-opener.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Brilliant album. A Classic

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Tue Mar 09 2021
4

I listen to this Steely Dan album and I learn EXACTLY what all the fuss is about: it's the most accessible music while still being dignified, eloquent, and fun. It's exquisite how good this album is, really. Jazz rock has never been more fun. I bet my parents will love this; we can listen to it over drinks and talk about current events or something, idk! People with taste listen to Steely Dan, and Aja has to be the pinnacle of this or I'll be damned.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

This album was prob the first to fuse jazz and rock this well. The sax throughout exemplifies this particularly on Deacon Blues. Steve Gadd’s drumming on Aja (the song) is mind blowing. His two solos on that track are played like guitar solos - ie played while the band provides rhythm- rather than Bonham style snoozer solos. Thanks to mgravelle59 for bringing it home circa 1977.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
4

Impeccable jazzy soft rock. I found it enjoyable and easy to listen to. Peg and Home at Last were favourites on this one.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

I really liked the combination of classic hard rock and jazz that Steely Dan have going on here. A nice album to listen to and a band I'll definitely revisit. Not entirely gripping enough for a 5 though.

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Sat Mar 13 2021
4

Ненавязчивая хорошая музыка для фона

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Cool and funky album. Good, chill listen.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Not bad at all! I like the jazzy feeling!

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

great jazz album

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

Is it a brag or flex to say I listened to my CD copy of this one? Pretty sure I have a vinyl copy tucked away too. I know this one and like it. Solid argument that it's Steely Dan's best album, though there is obviously room for debate and it's not my hill to die on. As far as I can tell, I can't rate in half stars but I'd probably go 4.5 on this if I could.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
4

Not their best album. That belongs to Pretzle Logic. Still a solid album though.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

The more I listened, the more I enjoyed. Easy music to just fade away and relax.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

some good stuff

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Sat May 29 2021
4

Just about made the 4 stars

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Pretty neat

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

You kind of have to be in the right mood to listen to Steely Dan, but luckily I'm in that mood most of the time. "Deacon Blues" is the highlight of this album but the whole thing is great.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

Ultimate dad rock

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

I have yet to hear a bad Steely Dan album, and this one is no exception. Their musicianship is always commendable, and the unique fusion/funk vibe they have going in a lot of these songs definitely makes this worth a few listens.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

Classic jams on here. It's yacht rock, but it's solid

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

бляять какой же кайф включать и в первом же треке угадывать семпл одного из любимых треков мф дума. ну и альбик сам ниче так

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

Вот что меня удивляет - насколько все говорят о влиянии битлов, и насколько оно мало чувствовалось на самом деле (по крайней мере в то время). Казалось бы - не так уж давно они распались, оставив после себя практически идеальную поп-формулу, до сих пор актуальную формулу экспериментальной музыки и тд, но в 70х люди почему-то куда больше тяготели к дженерик рокенролу, который юзался жуками в основном в начале пути. Ну типа песни вроде Strawberry Fields Forever, Eleanore Rigby, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Tomorrow Never Knows - это же другой уровень развития, пусть психодел тоже не всегда бывал удачным, но его же куда интереснее было пробовать, чем серый антивоенный роцкешник. Но это ладно, мысли на полях, Стили Дэн не совсем про это. Тут скорее джаз-рок такой, без лишнего огонька, но с довольно приятными трубами и прикольной атмосферой. Впрочем интереса это всё равно не особо добавляет. Раздражения не вызывает, но в очередной раз толкает в голову вопрос: "а оно мне всё нужно вообще?" Что бы изменилось в моём восприятии музыки (как у слушателя и как у исполнителя), не послушай я этот альбом. Да скорее всего нихуя. Это не какая-то предъява к пластинке, просто интересно порой, откуда берётся легендарный статус и вот это всё. Легендарный статус группы creedence clearwater revival, например, оправдать легко - у них действительно был хит на века, который выстоял проверку временем и до сих пор попадает в нерв. Плюс пацифистская позиция, которая также актуальна в любое время. Ну и даже вот предыдущих тирексов мне не составит труда отнести к классике - хотя бы за прорывное (по моему мнению) звучание. А Steely Dan видится продуктом своего времени, качественно скрафченным, занимательным, скилловым, но неактуальным и эстетически пустым на данный момент. Thus said, лепить тройбан альбому всё-таки считаю неправильным, поскольку совсем уж дженериком назвать рука не поднимается, и наверное под пресловутое настроение он может показаться хорошим выбором. Но честно, сомневаюсь, что ещё когда-то вспомню о нём. 7/10

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Tue Sep 07 2021
4

Very nice, I like the mix of instruments across the album. Quite the jam.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
4

Steely Dan has a strange sound. I mean, on one hand, it's a funk, soul mix like Doobie Brothers or even Hall and Oates. But there's a Disco sense in it too that turns me off. The lyrics are a little more substantial than I expected, which is cool. The horns remind me of Chicago. Black Cow is quite a production. Aja is also pretty layered. Not sure if it's about a girl or just some other cultural observation The album cover seems to lean towards the former. This band always gives me a sense of a dark room with red lights, not a club or and not really comfortable. I just don't see them as "open air, and free. They seem confined I guess. Deacon Blues is a song I always kind of liked. It just sounds good. Definitely a story to Deacon Blues - which I admire as well. Peg is an uncharacteristically brief song for this album. Another log song but not ordinary. Home at Last is more of a return to Aja after Peg. This time its an ode to life at sea it seems, but with another solid groove that propels the song. I got the News - the title makes me think of A Day in the Life by the Beatles, but this appears to have nothing to do with that. Some great guitar work, really quirky jazz beats and is that Michael McDonald singing back up? Josie - Solid jam again. This was better than expected. I think I'd listen to this again for sure.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

The drums! The composition! So much good....but a lot of "this isn't jeff"

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

I'd avoided Steely Dan for so long because, I dunno, hipsters mocked them in the 90s? But this album is good. It has a very rich, complex sound, something that is evidence of how far audio production technology came in that part of the 20th century. The songs are just as complex, with dreamy worlds. But above all was my moment when I realised that "Peg" was the sampled basis of De Le Soul's "Eye Know".

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

Great Album! Have this in my collection, I Got The News my favourite track from this album. I do prefer "The Royal Scam" as an album, but this is a good one, with Backing Vocals from Michael McDonald. Also like Peg and Deacon Blues (which the eponymous Scottish band took its name from.) are also good tracks.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
4

Okay okay... Ya veo co.o va a ser.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
4

Yeah this was great

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

oooh was leuk

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

Eindelijk Steely Dan! Zeer coole groep, ook als je er meer van weet. Ik kende dit album niet maar vond het wel zeer leuk !

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Warm, fun and smooth. The excellent drumming makes this a winner for me. Definitely interested in hearing more of their stuff.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Solid, solid album. not overproduced. Not too complex. good band. Good album.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

never listened to entirely, adding to iPod

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Deacon blues is the song I recognize from this album. More good listening, but I think I prefer the countdown to ecstasy album over this one.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
4

Great album

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Jazz-rock animado.

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Sat Dec 11 2021
4

This album was quite good. Very chill and relaxing songs with really good instrumentation to keep them interesting. 7/10

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

Easy listening, love the drum solo on Aja. Good tight music.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
4

Aaaaaaaa, pa viđam ovaj cover dost puta, al nikad nisam skužio žensku na njoj. Evo još jedan album iz 77'. Nisam očekivao ovakvu glazbu, više sam očekivao izdrkavanje po gitari, neki Rush tip benda, tako nešta jer gledajući koliko pjesama ima i koliko traju pjesme... Međutim, nije tak, drago mi je, zanimljiv album, gospodski, reklo bi se. Hvale ga očito s razlogom, i imaju zašto! Iznenadio me je jer stvarno nisam očekivao ovako pristojan album. Danceable, groovie, like it a lot! Pjesma Peg ima jedan sample koji se koristio u jednoj rap pjesmi (Eye Know od De La Soul) i to nisam znao, volim naučit ovakve stvari! Jedva čekam da i oni dođu na streaming platforme kad smo već kod toga. Aja (ko da ju volim još i saaaaaad) je jebena stvar! Top 5 albuma iz 77' na prvo slušanje, onda znaš. Love me some jazzy rock.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
4

Wel een aangenaam album om uit te luisteren

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

I already liked a bit of Steely Dan and enjoyed this too! I like the funky rockness of it. Good driving music

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

a funky groove to fuck to

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

Likte albumet svært godt! Home at last bra sang

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Tue Jan 18 2022
4

Normally i wouldn’t like music like this however i loved it. The music is just so funky and incredibly fun to listen to. the one critique is the song length but it was kept interesting so it doesn’t even matter - i really enjoyed this album. 9/10.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Muito gostosinho!

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Otroligt svängigt, välproducerad gubbrockrunk. ÄLSKAR

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Snygg gubbrock, kluven på 3/4. Men det är så tight och groovy. Har ingen av mina riktiga steely dan favoriter dock!

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Glimmering, uber produced jazz pop. Starts off very strongly, with Aja and Deacon Blue both being amazing, but I found myself losing interest as the album played out.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

Great Band of white people that sounds like black ones. Good mix of different type of music of that times ('70s)

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

Tight ass bunch of studio musicians

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

So nice

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Tue Feb 15 2022
4

This is one of those records you can toss on, do whatever, and come back mid song and pick up on the lyrics right away. One of SD’s best, and deservedly belongs on this list.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

Classic easy listening edition

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

Great album.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
4

Chill groovy

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Tue Mar 08 2022
4

Gli anni '70, quando la vita era tranquilla e i mutui al 20%. Un cocktail, una capigliatura sbarazzina e si va al mare perché fa molto caldo. Rilassante, mi piace.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Awesome!

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Great and unusual combination of jazz and rock/pop. Couldn't stop myself from feeling relaxed and happy by the music

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Now I understand why they’re so respected for their sound. Good passive listening, but the production takes it to a 4.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

Great smooth album

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

This used to be one of my less favorite Steely Dan albums (aside from Deacon Blues), in spite of being generally a fan. It has grown on me over time though, as repeated listening revealed the care and intricacy of its production. I’ve never really got the charges of their being cold or soulless. I find delivery of grown-up melancholy very poignant.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
4

Bookended by a slightly too smooth version of the Dan for me but with a delicious centre. They've done several better albums, though.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Steeley Dan is underrated. Its like the background music of our lives. This is a really great album!

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Sooooo much porn sax and boredom, then.....PEG. 4 stars for that alone

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