Steely Dan Sunday, “Almost Gothic” (2000)

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*** STEELY DAN SUNDAY INDEX ***

Not many Billboard top 10 albums have a homage to hookers, but Two Against Nature continues the Steely Dan tradition of taking a nostalgic look at New York’s dark side. With the song “Almost Gothic”, Steely Dan does it in style.

From the opening lines, “I’m woking in gopsel time these days (The summer – this could be the cool part of the summer),” the listener in drawn into a seedy yet romantic view of New York City’s Chelsea area.

As with most latter day Dan songs, it is all subtlety and grace. The late Hugh McCracken sets the pace on electric guitar and Jon Herington follows with a rarely used (for Steely Dan) acoustic guitar. Walter Becker’s Shadowsky bass seems to float above it all while New York Rock ‘n’ Soul Revue drummer Leroy Clouden keeps it locked with a tight R&B flavored drum track.

There are no Becker solos here as Michael Leonhart plays a simple and stunningly understated, yet perfect muted trumpet solo. Great playing, great vocals by Fagen with Carolyn Leonhart and Michael Harvey on background vocals, another great horn arrangement by Fagen, then after 4:10 it’s over.

“It’s called love – I spell L -U- V”

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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