Steely Dan Sunday, "Monkey In Your Soul" (1974)

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*** STEELY DAN SUNDAY INDEX ***

The last track on Pretzel Logic might be my least favorite one of that album, with that over the top fuzzy bass line. To some it makes the song nice ‘n’ fonky but I find it a distraction; I wanna hear Dias and Baxter’s guitars over that noise. Apart from that you-either-love-it-or-hate-it distinguishing feature, there’s a thing or two to appreciate about the song, starting with another killer horn chart. This time, the brass and reeds take the role of background singers to Fagen’s lead vocal, which is actually a little more convincing than usual; when he croons “I’ll pack my things and move so far from here,” I’m thinking he’s already got his hand on the doorknob. Baxter’s lead guitar is pretty business-like; not a bad note to be found, but he’s not leaving the band with a bang, either.

Looking back at Pretzel Logic as a whole, though, “Monkey” is part of a group of songs where Steely Dan was in between their willingness to try just about anything and the establishment of their own undeniable identity. Pretzel was the album that had equal doses of both, perhaps why it’s widely regarded as the best or second-best album in their discography. It’s got a lot of great things going for it and one of their most fun to listen to records. But much of their best work was still ahead.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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