The lazy summer atmosphere of Steely Dan and the simplicity
Rykre | Carson City, Nevada | 10/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
This album represented an optimistic feel to my mid high school years of competing with my peers and struggling for acceptance in such a judgmental society of jocks, burn-outs, Jesus freaks, and misfits. The latter, which I associated as of myself.
High school is where you start to realize that if you didn't fit in, you could be quickly singled out as the guy to pick on, talked negatively about, or just get ignored by the people who heard unsupported slander about you. Well, that's where, when school was over, and you just got your new (piece of junk) car, you went out cruising with your real friends. The other rejects which you felt comfortable with, and belonged with after school.
I guess what I'm saying here, is that high school was intimidating and made you feel that life was not treating you very well. The jocks were nourishing their egos by making non-jocks feel inferior to them, the burn-outs were always looking for someone to kick their a$$ just for fun, and the Jesus freaks were able to disassociate themselves from all the other non-Jesus freaks as if social acceptance was not a concern at all. So, us misfits were just targets to make feel uncomfortable at school.
This album called "Aja" was the album that offered an optimistic feel about being alive. I was able to forget about the negative impact on what I had to go through at high school, and actually had found a new ambition to make the world my oyster. After high school, my life changed practically 180 degrees as I attended Dale Carnegie School and then joined the Air Force.
During my first tour at Hickam AFB, in Hawaii, I started to appreciate my new life. As I always loved music, it was when I bought the vinyl album of Steely Dan's "Aja" (because I wore out my initial cassette tape), I was re-inspired about my new optimistic feel about my new life. I recorded this album plus a few other Steely Dan songs from their other albums, on to cassette tape, I would play this tape through my Sony Walkman, while walking along Waikiki Beach on a casual golden dusk of a Tuesday evening or so. When I bought a car (a black 1970 Mercury Cougar), I would crank up the cassette while my friends and I would party at Hickam Harbor with the beers and the other guys and the girls. We all shared similar stories. None of us were high school jocks or burn-outs. We all found a positive calling in going into the military. And many of us shared the same love for this album of "Aja." We all agreed that at least five of the seven tracks were staples of a simple, feel-good jazz-pop, soundtrack to all our questionable futures that improved when this great album was played in our bedrooms at home.
Not many albums have influenced us as much as Steely Dan's "Aja." Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have created a most unique flavor of Jazz meets Rock where beatiful melodies, genius production and perfect performance blend to produce a timeless masterpiece. I still own this album as a secondary collaboration to their "Decade of Steely Dan" album. I still had to download their song "Dirty Work" from another source. For some reason, I just couldn't get into their first album "Can't Buy a Thrill." Probably because I wasn't in high school yet, so I wasn't really seeking any inspiration yet. When I was in elementary school, we were all still considered "misfits" and I must have been comfortable with that.
If you read all that I wrote here, then you must have had a similar enlightening in your life, that of which you can relate. Many of my reviews here on Amazon, where I talk about a great album, or a great movie, is shared as how it influence my life. Thanks for reading.