Everything Must Go
label: Warner Bros.
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
of the things I’ve enjoyed the most in my life have been
acquired tastes. It wasn’t until the bulls ran in “The
Sun Also Rises” that the light went on and Hemingway began
to go from cold to beautiful. It was only after I finished the
last drop of a 12-year-old bottle Caol Ila that the pleasure of
an Islay, single malt scotch was revealed to me. And I believe
that somewhere in the midst of my fifth listen to Everything
Must Go, that the new Steely Dan album settled in for the
always described my Scurvy Brothers to the uninitiated as pop
music for people who love jazz: and so it continues on this latest
release. The album opens with a swinging jazz/R&B ditty, "The
Last Mall." This song is for all of you who wondered what
would happen if the Four Horsemen were really into food courts
and the Gap.
I Miss the Most" may show the most tender (?!) side of the
Dan you have ever heard. A man lamenting a defunct marriage with
an inventory including:
“The talk/the sex Somebody to trust”
but steering back to their cynical course:
Audi TT / The house on the Vineyard/ the house on the Gulf coast/
these are the things I miss the most.”
Blues Beach is the summer hit we’ve
been craving. A nice piece of power pop that picks up where Josie
or Tomorrow’s Girls left off.
is a funky (and fun) sense of the sinister in "Godwhacker."
and for the first time on a Steely Dan album, a lead vocal by
Walter Becker on “Slang of Ages”. Here, more than
ever is an example of an acquired taste.
Book" is quintessential Fagan and Becker that harkens back
to The Royal Scam with cryptic story telling, minor chords
and some truly slick riffs from Becker.
(always young and nubile) are the subjects of "Pixeleen"
and "Lunch with Gina."
title song brings up the rear in a powerful and ironic style.
"Everthing Must Go" opens with a Coultranesque intro
and sounds, uncomfortably, like a farewell. Let’s just hope
that its just a song.
performances are impeccable. The production precise. The songwriting
has all you’ve come to expect from Steely Dan and yet…
I guess what is missing is a sense of the new. For the first time
on a Becker/Fagan effort I found myself reflecting. “Oh
this kinda sounds like…” or “you know that lick
could have come right out of…” With the exception
of Becker taking a lead vocal, there's nothing all that suprising
on this album.
Must Go will get the hell played out of it in my house but
it remains a lesser album in an incredible catalogue.
liked Everything Must Go...