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The mechanised hum of another world: a comparative Steely Dan review

The mechanised hum of another world
The general consensus for nigh on 40 years has  been that Aja is Steely Dan’s greatest body of work, but I’m here to argue the corner for their album released a year previous to Aja, The Royal Scam. Aja has been so highly revered as a masterpiece of musical prowess, that it has even been included in the United States National Recording Registry for its cultural significance. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, and has also been entered into the Grammy hall of fame. So why am I rooting for the royal scam? I intend to outline an argument as to why in this post.
A quick overview
Steely Dan were not so much a band as an ever-rotating set of bands, based around two key people. Donald Fagen, and Walter Becker. Renowned for their meticulous attention to detail, regarding every aspect of the music they moulded. From their sonic sculpting in the studio to their downright scandalous use of chordal arrangements, they crafted a sou…

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