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Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.73 | 180 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well, I'd love to give this album a 5/5, but again, I'm constrained by the "progressive" classification. This album is not essential to a prog collection, but if you want to branch out in any way, it is absolutely essential. And it doesn't hurt a prog collection, either, especially with songs like East St. Louis Toodle-Oo. To my mind, this song is the closest the Dan ever actually came to prog. Sure, it's short, and every note was pre-written by the Duke, but their arrangement is as progressive as it comes. And check out Don's piano solo! That song alone justifies the price of admission to this album.

Elsewhere, however, what you'll find are immaculate pop hooks. And you'll find them all over the place. "Any Major Dude" and "Barrytown" are both feel-good songs, which may not necessarily have feel-good subjects (the former seems to be positive, the latter is about some kind of cult which did actually exist but with which I am not familiar).

If anything aside from their arrangements qualifies the Dan to be "progressive", it is their lyrics, and this one contains some gems. "Charlie Freak" is probably the best, albeit the most straightforward - a tale of buying a piece of jewelry off a bum who uses the profits to buy, and overdose on, heroin.

I've heard "Monkey in Your Soul" called a Led Zeppelin send-up. In that context it falls flat horribly, and I don't think that's what the Dan really intended, but as a piece of heavy funk it more than holds its own. This one also contains the radio standard "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", which is not a bad song by any means and actually features some fine guitar playing.

So, on a general scale I'd give this one a 5 easily. It's probably the Dan's most consistent and intriguing album, and it has the most going on (my personal favorite is still the next one, Katy Lied). But since it's prog we are dealing with here, I can only award it four stars. Top-notch, all the way.

KyleSchmidlin | 4/5 |


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