Khaled M and Lowkey, USA | Middle East Teaching Tools
In fact, the closest Westside Connection get to any issue is dissing the East Coast ("All the Critics In "All That I Got Is You," featuring a low-key MaryJ. Blige, Ghostface gives his mom a salute that damn near breaks you down in tears. Ironman is proof of his matured lyrics and delivery and the Wu's strong family stand. continued on as sole owner of the Blood Sweat and Tears trademark. After the end of his relationship with D'Arbanville, Stevens noted the effect it had on introspective and spiritual lyrics that he was known for, combined with a public by April , and with Bob Dylan in reclusive low-key activity. Through content analysis, this article examines Lowkey's lyrics to race relations and obfuscates the position of other minorities. Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
Dusty Springfield- Dusty in Memphis What a ballsy move it was for an English pop singer to hightail it to Memphis and record an album in soul music that goes toe-to-toe with Aretha at her peak.
And I deeply suspect that her well-deserved but ultimately premature induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of same as McCartney, Springsteen, and Billy Joel owed more to her ties with Atlantic Records, which has had an absurd level of success getting their guys in the Hall of Fame.
Fairport Convention- Liege and Lief I was not very familiar with Fairport Convention, but kept hearing their name mentioned in conversations about electric folk. I put on what appears to have been their best-received album and did some cursory research, and was quite impressed.
Folk, as it turns out, means something very different in the English context, and the entire album runs on moorish-highland and English countryside dalliances. But what makes all this the more remarkable is the musical chops behind it.
My favorite tracks here were the Medley and Matty Groves. This band has gotten an absurd amount of respect from a lot of musicians I care very much about- from Neil Young to John Lennon to Sam and Dave.
When George Harrison made a trip to the U. The house band for Stax Records, the title track is by far their best known number, and their only hit. Still, listening to this album made me realize the consummate talent at work here.
But guitarist Steve Cropper is no slouch either- compare him to any of the early 60s or late 50s rock and roll guitarists, and he surpasses everyone except Chuck Berry. In fact, this would be a great time to mention that Booker T. Christopher Cross- Christopher Cross As it turns out, it is possible to make a record with fewer meaningful things to say than Dookie. Both are, in their own manners, coping with the malaise, directionless nature, and overall depressing qualities of the late s.
Some grew angry, brash, and resentful- and others, like Cross, dumbed themselves down, stopped commenting on social issues, and did low-key, easy-on-the-ear music with lots of swooping orchestras, plenty of soprano sax solos, with electric guitars severely reigned in.
Different strokes for different folks I suppose, but this soft AM-radio is as much a product of its time as anything. War- The World is a Ghetto Instead, you get a fantastic funky urban record with long, extended jams, and plenty of Latin influences.
Duran Duran- Rio The first appearance from the s in this project, I was struck at how aptly this album brought together radio-friendly synth-pop with decent chops as a band. They were both, by this time, jazz-rock bands on Columbia Records, both were produced by James W. Guercio at this stage.
Lyrics containing the term: venous blood system
And yet, I am reluctant to say this, but this record is better than any single Chicago record- and Chicago is my third-favorite artist. This band has chops, soul, and creativity in addition to blood, sweat, and tears. Yes, it's extremely cynical in parts, but that's a big reason why I like it. First, this is Steely's strongest album lyrically. Sure, it's the most bitter, but it's also the most direct and entertaining, in terms of lyrics. Musically, it's not their best album.
However, it's far from an 8. More like an 11, or maybe even a I am a huge fan, though. This is not the album for the casual Dan fan I would, however, like to address the two songs leftover. I love those lyrics. And 'Sign in Stranger' George, what album have you been listening to? It's far and away the best song on the album, and one of the three best Steely Dan songs. Just listen to those keyboards The album cover is great too. Overall, if you're into the other albums, Royal Scam does not disappoint.
It's just the hardest one to get into. It will grow on you. But to be objective, I would rank this only ahead of Gaucho and on a par with some of the other releases. There are many strong songs on here and a few ordinary ones. Whereas the title track is pretty slow, it has a good haunting riff and some cool drum rolls. To me, its Steely Dan crossing jazz with disco.
The other three songs are good but just do not offer the completeness of 'Kid Charlemagne'. None the less, this recording like all Steely Dan recordings is quality stuff.
I think this was actually one of the better Steely Dan albums, way better than Pretzel Logic for example -- but in spite of that, you're the only other person I know of other than me who thinks 'The Caves Of Altamira' is the best piece on this album, and who thinks 'The Fez' is one of the worst things that 'Dan ever did.
It's weird -- half the time I think you're so far off I wanna throw up my hands, and the other half of the time I think you're right on the money. It starts out with "Kid Charlemange," which is a great song, really fantastic. Catchy, energetic, great grooves abound. It really stinks, in my opinion.
Fortunately, it's followed by "Hatian Divorce," with that cool guitar tone, and the classic rocker "Green Earrings. For the record, though, I'm still not too crazy about the other Dan releases I've heard.
Aja seems focus too much on "making the Steely Dan sound" and not enough on "making good music," and Pretzel Logic, despite having "Barrytown" on it, leaves me cold. If they did, I'd go to clubs more often. That's not the main problem with this album anyway - G. However, you have to already like Steely Dan to get into it, and I get the feeling you're not a big fan. I found them to be somewhat of an acquired taste too, but give 'em a chance and they get in your blood. Thanks to this review, I held off on buying this particular Dan album for the longest time, assuming that it was full of boring, loungey crap, like a mix of the worst tracks on Katy Lied and Aja.
Harsh, cynical, twisted - everything I love about Becker and Fagen encapsulated into one disc. It's true that they rely more on "dance" styled rhythms than they usually do, but since it ends up resulting in great songs like "Kid Charlemagne" my new second-favorite Steely Dan song, infectious as hell and "Green Earrings" killer groove I'm not liable to be lodging any complaints.
Did Donald Fagen run over your dog or something, George? And yes, George, I think "The Fez" is a great song. It's certainly stupid, but if you're going to bash the living crap out of a song mostly because it contains one lyric which isn't even repeated in a noticeable way I'd hate to see what you think of "Show Biz Kids" when you finally review Countdown.
I'm done griping, though. I love this album, and all suspicions of the Dan being a somewhat mediocre band have been extinguished by it. It singlehandedly raised my Overall Band Rating for the band from a 2 to a 3. This is actually my favorite SD record. The guitar solo on "Kid Charlemagne" is almost worth the price alone.
As for the rest of it, well I like almost everything on here -- especially "Caves of Altamira". Really, like Rich Bunnell I avoided this album largely on account of the slam you gave it.
So then I go ahead and buy it after a couple of years, expecting some less practiced jazz excursions on the order of a weaker Aja. Instead, it turns out to be the Dan's most groove-oriented album, with two killer cuts to rival "My Old School," "Dirty Work," and "Deacon Blues," them being "Haitian Divorce" and yes "The Fez," your most hated offering ever from a respectable band. And no, I don't like "Revolution 9" in case you are wondering.
Okay, so "The Fez" is not profound, but it's not trying to be. Just that opening smooth progression of keyboard scales circling like hawks until the drums and bass kick in, with some sumptuous celestes and synch violins in the background. It's just gorgeous, and that dirty guitar riff that cuts in from time to time sends me.
I know I'm not alone. And to be fair, there are two main lyrics "I'm never gonna do it without my fez on" being one and "You never gonna make me do it without my fez on" being the other. Your failure to note this vital point proves you totally missed the deeper meaning of this song. Good music like that makes me pay more attention to the lyrics after five or six listens, and now I've come to see this one as a concept album, of a something urban professional couple on some tropical vacation in the mids.
It's odd because back in the s, rock music catered to the youth culture.
The 20 best K-Pop tracks of the year
It was not common to have songs featuring married couple problems, like we have here on "Haitian Divorce" and "Everything You Did. Even in the s, my sense is there were few people much out of their mids listening to the Eagles, but now, of course, the Eagles are like suburban Muzak.
Were the Dan anticipating the zeitgeist, or leading it? I love the lyrics for "Haitian Divorce," delivered in classic cynical Donald Fagen style.
I'm not wild about "Everything You Did" or "Sign In Stranger" as music, but I like each song on this album for what it brings to the whole. The Royal Scam is a beach album that you can listen to without shame.
I respect this music as a good reprsentation for its style. I may appreciate the songs a bit mroe than you do but the record is best suited for background music. By the way, 'Josie' is about an ex-con returning to the negihborhood after doing his time.
Josie is merely a mask for the many who went astray. Truthfully its my personal favorite song on the record although I like many elements of the others. Drink your Big Black Cow and get out of here. Aja is the slickest recording this side of Dark Side of The Moon. It also suffers in my ears because of that, but I would never ever throw the accusation of being sappy at these guys.
That Phil Collins number you go on about is actually a sneered love song to a porno star. Only these guys made you think it was trite little love song. Phil could not kiss these guys butts, see George, they really are that good. The only reason this album did not seem their pinnacle to me, as other critics like to say it is, is because I really felt they were holding back on the reason I like them, their dirty little lyrics. They made this album almost squeaky clean by obscuring what they were really saying.
The real beauty is the complexity of the music the Jazz just slinks it's way into your mind. When you first hear it, it sounds blah, but hold on, it'll get you. Really from beginning to end there is not a really bad tune on this little greased up gem. A very solid gold star for these dudes, even if I find it disappointing, you can't always get what you want.
So sue me - I can't stand the group and I bought one of their albums. That's a great song, isn't it? See, these Steely guys really aren't bad, they just happen to only have about four songs worth listening to - "Josie," "FM," "Hey Nineteen" which I always thought was saying "Norwegians dance together" - funny!
A well-written one, but not any less obnoxious than Phil Collins or the like. I give the record a five - not a bad score for a group who I despise with all of my existence. The liner notes are pretty funny. Maybe Becker and Fagan should have been standup comics instead. It would at least spare me the pain of hearing Fagan's atrocious singing voice!
Sure, the two bands have wildly different styles, but both of them get unjustly slammed for the same reasons.
There is one adjective to describe this album, and that is "smoooooooooooth. Almost every song on the album glides along on a slick backing typical of soft rock, but luckily the writing and playing is quite a bit better than, say, the Alan Parsons Project though it may not seem so on first listen. The first three tracks are probably the most challenging, since they're the most loungeish and smooth of them all, but every one possesses a great chorus, tasteful female backing vocals, and a rich, full sound, all of which justify the extended running times perfectly.
The album gets bouncier from that point on, and I personally just see "Peg" as a lighthearted, fun pop song. The other two songs aren't as stunning, but they're still okay. Overall, this is a fine, well-crafted album by one of the more underrated bands of the pre-new wave era or so I'm led to believe considering how much other web reviewers seem to hate them.
I remember when it was first released, all my friends told me how great and how fantastic it was and how I just had to hear it. And I find it. It sounds like nothing more than bland imitation cocktail jazz to me. It's clear that Becker and Fagen picked studio cats with great chops, but there is NONE of the passion of the great masters here.
And with this slick, nondescript musical background, Fagen's whitebread voice sounds totally generic without an interesting musical setting to counterbalance it.
And intriguing lyrics, which are what can almost redeem a boring Steely Dan song, are nowhere to be found here. Incredibly overrated, and easily Steely Dan's worst album. But listening to the records in sequence, it's easy to chart the course from that to this tepid studio stuff. Look past the corny instrumentation, though, and you have a fun, demented little pop song that also serves as a quick picker-upper after the really, really sleek opening trio.
Also, specifically regarding Bob's comment, I agree that Can't Buy A Thrill is superior to this album, but aside from the two hit singles, that album isn't really the example of "when the Dan was a TRUE rock band" that everyone claims it is. If anything, Countdown is that album, and that whole rock elitist attitude that most people use against the Dansters really irritates me. If every band did nothing but write short, concise rock songs to please all of the purists out there, we would live in a really one-dimensional musical world where every band would sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company.
I mean, sure, Becker and Fagen could write some really boring, bland songs once they started smoothing out the textures in their songwriting, but it's still more interesting than what would've happened if they had stayed a "working band" past their second album.
This record is great. This is the real jazz-pop if you ask me: Smooth, harmonic, good lyrics and songs, it is worth all 11 overall points. I mean, out of the seven songs on this album, only two even come close. The other five are all extremely memorable.
I don't know why, but that may be my favorite Steely Dan song. I mean, it sounds like the type of song I would despise, but the way the music interplays with the sad, almost remorseful, lyrics, is truly masterful. It may just be my latent love for jazz that really makes this album special for me.
The bass line on "Black Cow" is great too. Plus, any album that ends with "Josie" automatically gets my respect. Note that this the only album where Steely Dan end with a really strong song as opposed to a really weak song. That prompted me to try listening to a little more Steely Dan, and then some more and then some more.
100 Romantic First Dance Songs
And now I'm a fan, especially of this album. The music on here is just so Peaceful, contemplative, and refreshingly smooth. The title track is my personal favorite.