Steely Dan – Two Against Nature

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Album Review by EDF

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are back. And about time to. Twenty years on after the release of their last album, GAUCHO comes an album that could have been released anytime in that period.

The jazz oriented tunes, the melodic harmonies and the odd time beats are a combination which very few artists master. Has time mellowed their songwriting skills? Thankfully the answer is no. Fagen and Becker have delivered the goods.

JACK OF SPEED introduces us to Teddy who is ‘rolling’ ‘most every night’ and whose future is already determined as ‘he’s a one way rider’. While WHAT A SHAME ABOUT ME deals with meeting an old school acquaintance while STACKIN’ CUTOUTS and recounting the disappointment of not achieving your dreams. Lyrically this track is quiet frightening as this is something some listeners can identify with.

As with all things Steely Dan, this is a classy album. The high point is the title track itself which is the nearest thing you will get that sounds anything like their early pop efforts such as RIKKI DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER.

If the early catchy tunes are what you’re after, then you might find this album trying. Otherwise this is a real treat. Let’s hope we do not have to wait a couple of more decades for the next album.

5 stars