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Steely Dan - Aja CD (album) cover

AJA

Steely Dan

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 185 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A-ha! The Greatest Pop Album!

Is it really blasphemy to call Steely Dan pop? Well, it really depends on your definition of pop. In this case I use it meaning that the music is instantly catchy, light/smooth in the melody department and tends to have the verse-chorus format. However, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker & Co. are not any catchy pop affair, they have really surpassed themselves and the "pop genre" with their 1977 release, Aja.

Not only the music is catchy and smooth, but the quality of the playing and arrangements is top-notch and that's what makes it one of the finest pop albums ever, in my opinion of course, though have in mind that I'm not the biggest pop aficionado. But Steely Dan not only played pop in a refined and talented way, it's damn original with its nod to jazz.

Donald's vocals, the smoothness, the catchy hooks and occasional original solo, it's just all perfect and up- lifting, it's really hard not to like this. Although Aja is strong throughout, there are definitely some highlights, as you should expect, these are the longer tracks, the title track and Deacon Blues where the musicianship really shines and you really can't say what is better, the hooks or the instrumental parts. Anyway, in terms of catchiness and groove, each listener will have a different favorite; all seven tracks are flawless pop music and of different kind.

The conclusion to this review is a no-brainer, this is simply a must-have record for music fans. Might not be a Prog fan's favorite, but undoubtedly it's an enjoyable ride for anyone. It's pop and it's awesome.

5 stars: sophisticated pop masterpiece with jazz tinges that I recommend to anyone who likes once in a while some really fine smooth music with groove and great instrumental playing.

The Quiet One | 5/5 |

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