to Ecstasy review
Steely Dan's follow-up to their debut album Can't Buy a Thrill is quite strong. It includes a variety of musical styles from song to song and often within the same track. The
musical genres they hit include country, hard rock, jazz, pop, and blues.
While, they are most successful here with rock,
they begin to explore more sophisticated jazz inferences that became more
prevalent in their later albums.
The track "Boston Rag" is a nice ballad with successful use of acoustic
guitars; while "Pearl of the Quarter," is country influenced; and they use pedal steel on "Razor Boy."
Their attempt to stretch out is exhibited in "Your Gold Teeth," but Dan is no jam band.
Countdown to Ecstasy's
best tracks are those with a rock tone. The albums opening track, "Bodhisattva" gets things off to a energetic pace. The superb track
"Show Biz Kids" has both blues and rock
inferences. It features great slide guitar, and excellent use of
The song "My Old School" has extremely tight musicianship throughout with the drummers holding the beat
while keeping in lockstep through the numerous solos whether with the guitar, keyboards, trumpets, or saxophone. The instrument sections offer delicious
soloing as the musicians trade riffs resulting in the dynamics of the song shifting from rock to pop to jazz to blues and back. Really a well crafted song, one of Steely Dan's best.
Countdown to Ecstasy is a solid album and like most Steely Dan albums is a great listen. by
Barry Small ©