Wrapping up my efforts on this without a lot else to add. I did like it, though maybe not for the reasons others like it. For me the sound encapsulates a mood or a time when I was a young lad. There were songs that made me think of smoky underground clubs with purplely velvet seats and brown curtains with people sipping cheap wine, probably in new york or somewhere. I never knew where that image came from - the closest I ever came to experiencing anything like that was once when a gang of us went to Leggs after a work christmas party - except that was horrendous and I don't recall there being any music (I'm sure there was some and I'm pretty sure it wasn't Steely Dan).
I fully expected not to like this. Blame Reeling in the Years. That song grates on me when I hear it. Turns out I only knew one other song, Hey 19, though when I heard it I recognised Fagen's voice from that Nightfly song and though that might be them too (its not, obviously).
I like this album as much because it reminds me of a tonne of other stuff I like. I mentioned some earlier in the thread. It also reminds me a bit of the Eagles who are a total guilty pleasure of mine (don't judge me). Parts of it also reminds me of some of Roger Waters solo stuff (the bits with the female backing singers - I can't think off-hand what it reminds me of. Its either something from Radio KAOS or ATD).
Its a pleasant listen with nothing, other than Hey 19, jumping out at me as being anything outstanding.
I bet I'll know more Steely Dan songs if/when I ever listen to a bit more. I'll definitely give Aja a go seeing as it was mentioned quite a bit over the week.
Funny you should mention mental imagery, to me this sounds like the kind of music a dentist would play; one of those dentists you occasionally read about that would molest their patients while they were out cold during a procedure.
I listened to Aja yesterday, its fantastic. I'm still a bit doubtful about everything that came before it though. It seems all that stuff only exists so that they could get to these two albums and then split up.
Out of interest, how many of you who like this also like 80s King Crimson? They seem to occupy a similar technically proficient-but-flat jazz-ish style. KC are sexless and obtuse in comparison but not a million miles off.
Robert Fripp meant for the band to be called Discipline but there was pressure to call it King Crimson even though it was a totally different style and line up.
I have tried to like 80s Crim but aside from little elements that I like (Belew gets some great sounds out of his guitar) it's fairly horrid. Belew should never be let near a microphone and the fucking Chapman stick has to be the worst instrument ever invented. I can defend the accordion, the bagpipes, the pan pipes, the glass armonica, etc. because you can nearly always find some song where they work but I've yet to hear a Chapman stick performance that didn't sound naff.
Anyway, the reason I'm replying is to post this so you can hear what King Crimson is supposed to sound like (Fripp has had all the studio versions taken off YouTube, the studio version of "Starless" from Red is peak prog):