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Steely Dan - Aja CD (album) cover

AJA

Steely Dan

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 184 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars When jazz gets this smooth, we've started down a very slippery slope indeed.

Somewhere in the pursuit of perfection and precision, Steely Dan has lost a bit in the way of melody, texture and soul. Everything is just a little too perfect--the snare just a bit too tight, each vocal harmony just a bit too perfect, and each horn accent just a tad to in sync. The resulting sound have a very sanitized--perhaps at times bland--feel to it.

Of course, I wouldn't be complaining if the songs were great, but Deacon Blues is the only song from Aja that I would truly consider to be great. Peg is certainly toe-tapping, if formulaic, and the instrumental section in the title track is high quality, but I am excited by very little else on the album. There's is definitely nothing that's poorly done or a glaring weakness--indeed, far from it!--but the precision and production, along with the relatively simple rhythms, siphons most of the soul and energy from the tracks.

And so Steely Dan's conversion to the yacht rock genre is nearly complete with Aja, and in my opinion, to the detriment of true progressive jazz fusion.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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