In keeping with my resent pod cast, Bluegrass Blog Mixer on ITunes and my last blog I felt it was time to share my thoughts on Steely Dan. I have reviewed the solo works from Donald Fagen and Walter Becker but I haven't shared my thoughts on a Steely Dan album. Now I love them all and the best worst thing I ever bought was Citizen Dan. It was a box set of all of the CDs, but with the band not putting out anything new I had bought all there was to get. I was stuck until the guys reunited for a tour.
I have yet to see the band live. I do greatly regret it. Something is always in the way. So for now their live album will have to and it does do quite nicely. Now Donald and Walter are known to be perfectionist in the studio and I had often wondered would that translate to a live performance? Surprisingly enough it does. I was in Interlochen Michigan working at the Arts Academy when the CD came out and the sound engineer guys where quite impressed with sound on the CD.
Now my first memories of the Dan are once again the AM radio in the Parents VW Bug or van. In college I bought a cassette that had Katy Lied and The Royal Scam on it and I got sucked into their world. Now to the suburban white boy that I am the world of the Dan is the other side of the tracks, drug dealers and the underbelly of life. A musically mysterious realm that their songs bring me to. The reason I am reviewing Alive in America is the other albums have been reviewed and analyzed to death and as I wrote about earlier the first new Dan in many years.
The CD starts the mood with Babylon Sisters and it glides on their jazz, pop, rock blend from there. The tracks are mainly the big hits. I have to admit I was surprised that the only solo work on the CD was a Walter track. I reviewed Book of Liars on an earlier blog about Walter solo but on this release was my listening to the song. It is a better song live than what he had on his solo CD. Oddly enough the song is richer and musically layered live than in the studio. The feel of the recording is almost like you're seeing the band on a late summer night laying on a blanket under the stars.
I recommend Alive in America for anyone like me who haven't gotten a chance to see the Dan live.
Till next time listen to the best your ears deserve it!