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A Transitional Album,
This review is from: The Royal Scam (Audio CD)
The Royal Scam has a couple of the most catchy and commercial songs Steely Dan has ever recorded - "The Fez" and "Haitian Divorce" - both songs greatly influenced by reggae.
Like all Steely Dan the playing and production is sheer perfectionism. The songs are generally - apart from the two aforementioned - not as melodic as the ones one the previous album "Katy Lied", and through there are great bits and pieces on all songs - especially some great guitar-parts - it may the the Steely Dan album that I have most difficulties to get really into.
For me the standout song is "Haitian Divorce" - I know some find it light-weight - but it's a song that sticks with you - no surprise that it was among the few single-hits Steely Dan scored.
"The Fez", "Kid Charlemagne", "The Caves of Altamira", "Sign in Stranger" are all fine songs; in fact apart from "Green Earring", there are no songs I don't like.
I guess you could call it a transitional album, linking the early melodic Steely Dan with the later more sophisticated side of the group.