I like this CD - it's not up to the greatest Steely Dan offerings from the 70's and 80's, but no-one would really be expecting that. But still an excellent collection of numbers, played with the usual fantastic musicianship. Highly recommended.
I've held back for over a year before reviewing 2AN. I'm glad I did, as I didn't like it at first. It's a grower imo but it holds all the Steely Dan excellence. Great musicians, great arrangements, great engineering, production and mixing.The CD has very little noticable compression to my ears. All in all one of the best Dan albums I own. It lacks the emotion and edgey quality of 'The Royal Scam' (My fave SD album) but it's hard to match one of the best albums ever made.
Steely Dan (and its two members) have an uncanny knack of creating records that, on first hearing, can sound bland and uninteresting but grow on you quickly until, soon, you are involuntarily humming all the tunes continuously and cannot keep the CD out of the player. Two Against Nature is no exception. The customary sophistication, understatement and lack of cliché are all evident here. The female backing vocals and unobtrusive horns restating and extending the harmony are reminiscent of Kamikiriad. This is punctuated by Becker's guitar licks and solos à la '11 Tracks of Whack' throughout. The tunes vary in feel from the funkiness of Gaslighting Abbie, to the drive of the title track , the cool of Jack of Speed, and the jazziness of Negative Girl. Familiar themes surface in the lyrics i.e. nostalgia, regret, anti-heroism, humour to name but a few. Cousin Dupree is the catchiest track on the album but is matched by gorgeous tunes like Almost Gothic (which ends on an unresolved Gm13 chord reminiscent of a similar device used on Wes Montgomery's West Coast Blues). Overall, this is an exquisite record and all the tunes are more than worthy of the Steely Dan name. I just wish there were more on the CD. Let's hope there will be more Steely Dan originals soon.
Having seen some pretty dreadful live performances captured on DVD I bought this with some apprehension. Blimey! was I pleasently surprised. It's brilliant. The sound quality on DTS is outstanding and the whole concert has been recorded with taste and professionalism. If you're a Dan fan then don't hesitate - buy it. And if you're not a Dan fan buy it anyway - you will be converted.
I'm sure that I read somewhere that this was "made for TV" so it's no surprise that it does come across as a sort of doc...er sorry.."ROCK"..umentary. I can imagine the video director behind a wall of tv monitors yelling instructions to the hard pushed cameramen - and it shows. But nevertheless if you're a Dan fan (which I am) and can appreciate it for what it is (a promo for 2vN) you will really enjoy this. At the end of the day you don't get many opportunities to see Messrs Becker and Fagen in a live situation so you have to grab it when you can. The band are, as you would expect, top notch and tighter than the tightest thing in Tightsville. The dynamic duo themselves are like a pair of Geography teachers on speed, and a special mention should go to backing singer Vicky Cave, She's GORGEOUS. The choice of songs proves that this was intended to boost the Dan profile and swell the coffers at the time of the release of Two Against Nature and includes some of the highlights from the album although some of the old favourites are ther to keep the die hards (meself included) happy. I suppose that the little "interviews?" between songs could get a bit annoying to some but they help to give you an idea of the duos off the wall personalities. In conclusion I should repeat what I said earlier, this looks as though it was made for TV so you shouldn't expect live "concert" as such (the sense of "being there" is missing) although it is no less enjoyable and worth every penny you will pay for it even if you just buy it to fall in love with Vicky Cave. Did I tell you she's gorgeous??
What a great gig with some very amusing asides. If you think the sound is dull through the tv try switching to 2.0 as certainly with my tv the 5.1 didn't produce the best sound. You couldn't even really hear the sax properly. The choice of songs is interesting and the band are really tight ( as you would expect), Donald Fagens voice is great.
A great dvd from one of the best bands of all time.
Well, as a Steely Dan enthusiast, this album has one or two tasty songs, however, many of them seem to sound alike, I think that the album has been rushed slightly, and could have had more time spent on it. However this is not to say it is a poor album, as there are still signs of the original bee bop funk, of the amaszing duo. In all, i think that it doesn't match up to the standards of say Aja, however, it is a good buy, if your wanting to complete the collection. Otherwise, nice on Donald and Walter, keep it going. Marc Bull
In the 70's we were quite used to waiting patiently for several years between Dan LP's, yet they were so musically sophisticated and satisfying that I would have to reach for my Beethoven collection for a suitable comparison. Now, twenty years later the guys make another recording and it's pretty good in parts. The recording is so crisp that I thought for a moment that I had a good HiFi! But here is the real story... an old has-been act produced a RESPECTABLE record. That is a rare achievement when compared to so many rock acts are still going twenty or thirty years after writing their last decent song! The tune from 'Janie Runaway' is so catchy it's almost subversive! It's been rattling around my brain for days. Welcome back, Walter and Donald, and please don't leave it another 20 years next time...