Steely Dan Sunday, “Things I Miss The Most” (2003)

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Metaphors, sarcasm, downright snarkiness are but a few of the characteristics of a Steely Dan song. The song ”Things I Miss The Most” doesn’t have these telltale Steely Dan signs yet still ranks among their best because of what it does contain.

Unlike what we’ve come to expect from this bunch, the song is an almost straightforward tale of woe about the aftermath of the break up. Many Dan watchers assumed it’s the tale of Walter Becker’s break up from his ex-wife Elinor, but it could be the tale of any well-heeled man having to divide his life with an ex.

Who would of thought that Becker and Fagen could be such softies (a topic Becker hits on even in more detail on his Circus Money album)? Of course it would not be Steely Dan without sly humor with a pinch of earnestness. The protagonist confesses his longing for talk, sex and his beloved Audi TT among other things. How many pop songs mentioned the famed and doomed liner, Andrea Doria and balsa wood in the same sentence?

How many pop songs give you a beautifully simplistic guitar solo (presumably not on a ’54 Strat) and an elegant Ted Baker piano track? The first two songs on Everything Must Go, set a high bar of the album. Too bad they don’t keep it up…

Ed. note: …and when was the last time you’ve heard of porn referred to as a “girlie magazine”? If you’re under the age of 45 or so, possibly never.

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