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Steely Dan - Aja CD (album) cover

AJA

Steely Dan

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.07 | 161 ratings

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Alitare
3 stars Aja ? 1977 (3.5/5) 11 ? Best Song: Aja

They'd always flirted with it, jazz that is. They'd taken the easy listening approach to its ultimate peak without becoming silly, and some would say that the Royal Scam was just that. But where Royal Scam delved so deep into the slickly overproduced softness as to be boring, Aja?is exactly the same. But there's a difference! Aja, not only takes the experimental levels of jazz into account, it melds them ? flawlessly ? with the soft pop veil they've decided to drape every one of the songs in. So, in effect, the title track can seem like an excursion in awful elevator pop, taking away from the fact that it's actually an intricately performed jam session where the key ingredient is subtlety as opposed to flashiness like the solo strings in either Do it Again or Bodhisattva. It's along the same spiritual line, only filtered through a more ambient lens. No, Steely Dan haven't gone ambient, only taken into consideration the mood and atmosphere of an album. Sadly, this negatively affects the melodies, which don't make up for seven minutes of fluff, no matter how expertly crafted said fluff happens to be. And having both Aja and 'Deacon Blues' back to back is dangerous. They're the two longest, most toweringly inoffensive tunes, and they place em side by side? That can kill the flow of a record. Fortunately, the mood is just strong enough to carry the album along.

Alitare | 3/5 |

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