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Steely Dan - The Royal Scam CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 202 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars Still I don't know the relation between STEELY DAN and Progressive Rock except for some ALAN PARSONS like keyboards (Probably Alan was influenced by them), but I heard so many good comments about "The Royal Scam" (The only STEELY DAN album I hadn't heard) that had to listen and review it.

The album starts with "Kid Charlemagne" which reminded me of the poppiest albums of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT because of the keyboard intro, but as soon as the voice joins, it's obvious we are before a Funk track that may be good for those who like this genre, but not my cup of tea. The caves of Altamira has some Jazzy elements, but not stronger than what you would find in an "Earth Wind & Fire" album, good brass section, but again disappointing.

"Don't Take me Alive" starts more rocker than the previous tracks, still that Funky atmosphere, but at least due to the guitar solo it's obvious they are doing some Rock, sadly when the voice enters seems as we are before a STEVE MILLER BAND track with Rock, Pop and even Southern Rock elements, but still the question is...Where is the Prog?

The best I can say about "Sign in Stranger" is that has an excellent piano and some interesting changes that make a very slight approach to Prog, but still is mainly a POP - Funk track.

"The Fez" has an excellent intro, but again morphs into an EARTH WIND & FIRE atmosphere, even the keyboards that were the highest point enter totally in a FUNK territory with Pop leanings. By this point, all the tracks seem more of the same, Green Earrings is even more poppy than the previous stuff with a clear JAMES BROWN (Sex Machine) influence and Haitian Divorce despite the vocoder is some sort of diluted Reggae, at least for me, there is no interest.

"Everything you Did" is a POP track, that reminds me of the hundreds of POP Motown bands that invaded the airwaves in the mid 70's as to introduce Disco music, only a good Psyche organ saves this track from total oblivion.

The last track is "The Royal Scam" again sounds like ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, but not like his first three Prog albums, maybe like Vulture Culture or some later ones.

I won't say the album is bad, because there is people who consider it great and I respect their opinions even when I don't share them, but following the guidelines of the sites, 5 or 4 stars (Exclusively for Prog Albums) are out of the scenario, and not even so good to give it the same rating I gave to the non Prog but outstanding Who's Next, so it's 2 stars for Royal Scam.

Maybe on a non Prog site I would had rated the album with more, but not here.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |


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