Album Review by EDF
For a band that has been going for a long time, Steely Dan has stuck closely to their own jazzy influenced compositions while the rest of the world has moved on to several other musical plateaux. For fans of the group, you will be glad to know that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen have delivered more of the same and in keeping with tradition, have produced another fine album to sit along the rest of their back catalogue.
Sticking with the same musicians that appeared on their 2000 reunion album TWO AGAINST NATURE, the tracks here are more of that strange but familiar settings viewed from Becker and Fagen’s universe. We find tracks such as THE LAST MALL telling a story of the closure of the last shopping mall, reminding customers that they only have a few hours left to buy their provisions. THINGS I MISS THE MOST is about moving on after a lot of reflecting about missing the good parts of a failed relationship while trying to block out the bad.
After all this time, Steely Dan still has a surprise up their sleeve where Walter Becker provides vocals on SLANG OF AGES, a suggestive track hinting about getting high. GREEN BOOK is one’s romanticised version of staying at a hotel, hoping for love and adventure. PIXELEEN is about the violent adventures of a Tomb Raider / Alias type character with a twist at the end of the song. The title track has an ominous finality, hinting that this might be the end of the road for Steely Dan. I hope I’m wrong about my interpretation of the track.
It’s hard to believe that it took a year to make this album. The awards that the group won for their last album just proves what perfectionist Fagen and Becker are. To produce anything less than what they are known for would not satisfy their long-term fans and would seem very much out of place.