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Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.54 | 207 ratings

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4 stars Can't Buy a Thrill ? 1972 (4/5) 12 ? Best Song: Do It Again The Steely Dan duo are smart folks. No, they aren't any smarter than your average smart person, and they aren't any more talented than your average?supertalented jazz rock outfit. What they got, and I mean they got it ? in spades, even ? right from the beginning is wit. I don't ever listen to Can't Buy a Thrill when I'm interested in crying or sobbing in the corner for a few hours. I'll save that for Tom Waits. When I put on a Dan album, especially this one, because it's so good, I'm doing so for two things ? the band's wit and the band's popcraft, which is a damn behemoth at this early point. It's not 'just' the two of them, Fagen and whoever. They're a full band, bringing in a slew of session musicians, including Skunk Baxter. 'Do it Again' is a smart, psychotic jazz rock devil, it is. 'Now you swear and kick and beg us that you're not a gambling man, then you find you're back in Vegas with a handle in your hand. Those black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able ? in the land of milk and honey you must put them on the table.' I love that line. It's a song about gambling addiction, obviously. The song is also a vehicle for the searing solo abilities of the group's guitar and organ, culminating in a monster duel. If that wasn't enough, right after, 'Dirty Work' comes in and chills us all out with a beautiful little pop ditty. What I'm saying is that the band knew very well what they were doing, with musicians coming and going like a real project ? or an experiment, but the swiveling cast, each song is like a different little world. It'll also make sure that while you're bound to like at least several songs, most folks will have at least a song or two they might not fall head over heels for. While I never loved 'Kings', the soft jazz jamming of 'Only a Fool Would Say That' always struck me fantastically. At their worst they're a well-oiled machine. At their best, oh my!
Alitare | 4/5 |


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