hello folks! this week for the weekly review, we’re checking out Steely Dan’s debut 1972 record, Can’t Buy a Thrill. i’m not sure if i’ve mention this, but my parents used to listen to a lot of “oldies” radio stations when i was growing up –  a lot of 60s and 70s hits. because those stations were aimed at folks already familiar with the music, there was less “music intro” given, and i know a LOT of music from this era by ear but not by name. Steely Dan’s one of the names i know and recognize, but basically can’t mentally attach to any specific tracks. ive kinda always known if i dug in i’d find a lot i’d like, based on the way folks talk about them, but haven’t had a chance to till now. so let’s dig in!

track 1 of the Steely Dan discography is Do It Again, and absolutely fucking fantastic song. the vibes on this song are sublime, they’re dark and grimey, and the layered way the song introduces its musical elements is just so so good. lyrically, it weaves such an interesting tapestry of failure and desperation. and the solo! so goddamn good. big fan of this song. Dirty Work is another banger – the hook here is so infectious, and it’s such a complicated emotion to be conveying, to know you’re being taken advantage of but not be able to say no. another massive hit, two tracks in, haha. Kings is p good – again they can REALLY craft a chorus for these songs, and i love with this is doing lyrically. Midnite Cruiser’s p good – i saw in some discussion about this the connections to Thelonius Monk, and man that’s a connection i wish i was more able to see, haha. Only a Fool Would Say That is probably the sleeper hit of the record for me – it’s a twinkie where the outside is island vibes and the inside is nihilism. i mean this 100% positively. Reelin’ in the Years is Steely Dan’s biggest hit, and damn yeah i can’t really argue with that one. really good song. Fire in the Hole is p nice. very neat song. Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me) is a track with some kinda silly lyrics and an almost somber vibe to it. real bittersweet kinda track. Changin’ of the Guard is a very interesting track – at once hopeful and pensive. very cool. Turn That Heartbeat Over Again is an extremely interesting closer – wrapping up the record with a tale of failure, at the end of it all, but hoping that’s not the end.

faves – Do It Again, Dirty Work, Kings, Only a Fool Would Say That, Reelin’ In the Years
dislikes –

yeah this was phenomenal, not that i was surprised after seeing the track list. very neat mix of tracks here – some are focused on relationships, some are political, some are more abstract, and there’s a cool mix of poppier bops and some really really good jams. just a really solid collection of songs, front to back. the last bits of the record do a bit less for me, but that’s only because the front half of the record hits so goddamn hard. def been sleeping on this one, haha.

Can’t Buy a Thrill – 9/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be checking out Earthling, by David Bowie. i’ll be back next Friday, August 11th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)