Monday, June 16, 2003

Get the message:Robert Toth reviews Steely Dan's newest album , Everything Must Go. It's a very positive assessment, an album Toth describes as a contrast to offerings from the left and the right trying to capture the post 9-11 world. He criticizes artists like Steve Earle and Radiohead for essentially playing to the far left true believers (think Dixie Chicks "speaking out" at a concert in London - tres chic!) and offers up this wonderful line to make sure flag-and-country knuckle draggers don't feel left out:
I'm grateful, for example, that Darryl Worley wrote the flag-waver "Have You Forgotten?," and I'm glad that so many people have taken it to heart. But musically it's about as expansive as Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler and his "Ballad of the Green Berets," a song that makes me want to join a commune and do some gardening in the closet.
Anyway, Toth seems to think Steely Dan has gotten it right. I haven't heard the album yet, but I became a fan the first time I heard them and most (if not all) of their music remains fresh to me. Too often our musical heroes don't rise to their own standards in the later stages of their career (it's bad enough The Stones are still touring, but do we really need to hear Mick say "And now here's a song from our new album"). I hope Fagen and Becker have done as well as Toth implies.

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