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STEELY DAN “AJA” (U.S.AB-1006) 1977 GATEFOLD VG+ CVR SOME RINGWEAR, DISC IS VG++ COUPLE LITE MARKS, SCUFFS I readily acknowledge that Steely Dan – and Aja in particular – isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of people who find the band’s blend of smooth jazz and soft rock intolerable, particularly on Aja, which has so much studio polish it gleams with the stuff. Words like “overengineered” could be fired at the album with some credibility.
That’s fine. Everyone’s got their own tastes. Me, I can’t get enough of this album. Sure, it’s a slickly engineered product with crisp, commercial harmony vocals and poppish numbers like Peg and Josie rounding it out. But the compositions and their delivery are just too perfect not to win me over, particularly in the way they establish a calm, tranquil atmosphere quite at odds with the angry cynicism of the preceding Dan albums. Sure, it’s plastic studio jazz-rock produced by an army of session musicians at the beck and call of Becker and Fagen, but sometimes slick 1970s yacht rock isn’t all bad. Aja is one of those times.
Track listingShow track credits
Home at Last5:31
I Got the News5:03
Total length: 39:31