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Steely Dan - The Royal Scam CD (album) cover

THE ROYAL SCAM

Steely Dan

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.68 | 113 ratings

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Alitare
3 stars Royal Scam ? 1976 (2.6/5) 10 ? Best Song: Kid Charlemagne

This is, admittedly, the first time in their career where I can readily assess their output as excessive, very much over the edge of good taste. I was looking over the cast, which plays off as a big budget summer thriller. This is overkill. They lost Skunk Baxter, which is a damn shame, and they opted to replace him with five or six no-names that turn the usually enticing atmosphere of your typical Steely Dan album into a real outing in mediocrity. It's not that the album is altogether poor in quality. 'Kid Charlemagne' must stack up as one of their greatest songs, with a blistering solo to end it all. But this is definitely a perfunctory affair. They must have spent ten minutes writing the songs and half a year finding out how to turn it into a means of poking fun at the lowest common denominator public. Another major pin against the record is how each song sounds much too similar to the songs next to it. All those were reasons this album isn't as good as Can't Buy a Thrill. But man, the cooking sax solo in 'Caves of Altamira' are something else. They're burning the place up, as usual. I can't knock the band for being adequately consistent; most bands would rather be beating a formula to death that sucks ass. At least Steely Dan's formula is more concerned with tact and subtlety, as opposed to the trillions of heavy metal dunderheads wasting time with a rip-off each subsequent year. It's a solid performance. Aside from all the flaws or praise I can give the Royal Scam, though, the biggest hitch is in the melodies ? they ain't so hot.

Alitare | 3/5 |

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