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Steely Dan - Gaucho CD (album) cover


Steely Dan


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.68 | 143 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Highlighting the decadence of Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Steely Dan showcases some of their finest work in Gaucho. Speaking of profligacy, check out the lineup- simply massive, and some big names on the list too: Michael McDonald, Jeff Porcaro, Rick Derringer, and Mark Knopfler. Gaucho is a must for lovers of jazz-infused pop featuring well-crafted, sly lyrics.

'Babylon Sisters' With a clever chord progression and one of the smoothest sounds on the West, er, East coast, 'Babylon Sisters' has suave, sexually indulgent verses reflecting on extravagance and borderline illicit relationships. The refrain comes in quick, sudden bursts of brass and female vocalists. Even that opening verse, 'Drive west on Sunset to the sea,' paints an image smelling of West coast luxury and the sleek depravity to be had there. This, like the song that follows it, is one of my favorite Steely Dan songs.

'Hey Nineteen' Continuing on the theme of younger women and reckless pleasure, 'Hey Nineteen' is another hit by Steely Dan and a damn smooth song. Twanging guitar, pops of electric piano and a mildly rhythm backing it all up makes this song about as wonderful a thing as the Cuervo gold and the fine Columbian.

'Glamour Profession' Turning up the disco, this lengthier song maintains a funkier groove and has a mighty fine piano passage.

'Gaucho' An easygoing, laidback jazz rock tune, the title track juxtaposes smooth verses with a more erratic refrains.

'Time Out of Mind' Boasting the lead guitar talent of Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, 'Time Out of Mind' has a spurting rhythm that punches along.

'My Rival' Keeping a straightforward, somewhat punchy rhythmic backdrop, this song adds another dimension to the sound by bringing the organ and the synthesizer to foreground. The guitar solo is satisfying, working its magic over the silky brass section.

'Third World Man' Uncharacteristically dark and leisurely for Gaucho, the album's closer has a growing intensity and feel similar to 'Babylon Sisters.' The guitar solo on this piece is the best one to be found in this septet of sumptuous jazz rock songs. 'Third World Man' is one of Steely Dan's finest unsung gems.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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