Of course I don’t mean that but, hey, got your attention, right? I love every Dan album. They all have surprises, quirks and tweaks. Yes, they all have the odd duffer but, shit, who doesn’t? But the Dan I fell head over heels in love with is the one on Can’t Buy A Thrill. The warm, multi-harmonied rock band. The band I thought would save the world. The band that wasn’t so aware of just how feckin’ good they were. The band that weren’t so knowing. CBAT is packed with warmth, in the sound, the recording, the guitar tones and the drum sound. Everything afterwards, though brilliant, sounds a tiny bit colder. A tiny bit cleverer (is that even a word?) A tiny bit more knowing. There is no duffer on CBAT. I adore all of the references, the nods, the winks. They don’t feel ‘placed’. They feel completely natural, completely real. Can’t Buy A Thrill is the sound of a band at the height of their powers. After it, Steely Dan sound amazing, clever, heroic. But they no longer sound like a band.
You may have your own opinion, so hit me with it.