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Steely Dan - The Royal Scam CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.76 | 202 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars After Katy Lied, which was a masterpiece, The Royal Scam was a royal disappointment. Although it has a clutch of good tracks - the title track is interesting for showing a more sombre side of the band, Don't Take Me Alive is dramatic even though it's kind of a rerun of With a Gun from Pretzel Logic, Caves of Altamira has this odd majesty to it and Kid Charlemagne is a fantastic song - it's padded out with far too much filler. Not just filler, mind, but really badly misconceived filler, like the goofy novelty track The Fez or the horrible pseudo-reggae Haitian Divorce.

It's telling when one of the stronger tracks of the album (Caves of Altamira) is an old piece from the Dan scrapbook, with a demo version from before Can't Buy a Thrill widely circulating on bootlegs. The Royal Scam gives every impression of the band stuck in the midst of songwriter's block.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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