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Steely Dan - Aja CD (album) cover

AJA

Steely Dan

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 182 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

volta3
4 stars Wow--I'm surprised that Steely Dan is even on Prog Archives! I first started listening to Steely Dan a few months ago starting with my dad's vinyl copy of the Steely Dan sampler GOLD. I enjoyed it (especially the songs FM, Black Cow, and King of the World). Then I started to hunt down some of their studio albums. Within a week or so of first hearing GOLD, I picked up a CD of AJA. Having read reviews of AJA on Amazon.com (avg. customer review: 5/5 stars) and seeing that it was listed among the top 200 of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, I figured it would be the best choice for a newcomer to Steely Dan such as myself. I wasn't disappointed! Nearly every song on AJA is either great or good. It is melodious, catchy, and complicated (as complicated as easy-listening pop music gets). Personal standouts for me are Black Cow (mentioned above), the title track, I Got the News, and Josie. The sound of the album, both sonically and stylistically, is crisp, clean, and, rich. Though some aspects of AJA have dated since the album's release in the mid 1970's--i.e. the disco stylings of Peg--many parts of this album still sound fresh and (relatively) modern in the 21st century. Although AJA isn't exactly a progressive rock record by definition, it still contains a unique hybrid of sophisticated jazz and danceable, tuneful pop-rock that is good for dancing, concentrated listening, and (though not recommended by this reviewer) background music. If you have never heard Steely Dan, AJA is the best place to start because it most certainly displays Steely Dan (Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, and over 20 additional session-men) at their creative and musical peak.
volta3 | 4/5 |

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