Becky B. (leelacolorado) from DENVER, CO Reviewed on 4/8/2007...
This is a BMG CD club reissue.
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Eclectic and Different Record
David Shanet Clark | Atlanta Georgia | 04/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Pretzel Logic disc has jazzier and more experimental material and is probably not as familiar to most listeners as other Steely Dan albums. Very interesting song structure on "Through with Buzz" and "Barrytown" ..."Parkers' Band" is also very strong and this album doesn't have the technical (hiss/high EQ) problems of Katy Lied.......definitely a good purchase if you want to round out your collection of Steely Dan with less familiar but classic tracks."
Impressive, if not so much so as the first two
mianfei | 05/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On their first two albums, Steely Dan introduced the most literate lyrics and some complex music to turn rock into something it never was before and has very rarely been since. The story-in-song style of Fagen and Becker's songwriting sticks with a listener amazingly well over long periods, as I can testify with "Do It Again", their first song to be publicised and probably remaining their best of all time. 1973's Countdown to Ecstasy was even better, with its long, psychedelic songs and amazing lyrics that often touched on the most serious social questions.
Unfortunately "Countdown to Ecstasy" did not sell as well as their debut Can't Buy a Thrill, with the result that Steely Dan turned towards much shorter and less complex songs for their third album "Pretzel Logic". This change of tone is illustrated right from the opening track "Rikki Don't Lost That Number", which became their only hit on the Australian singles charts, and is a relatively straightforward piano ballad that lacks the amazing story-in-song character of their best work. However, with the second track "Night By Night", the Dan show that they can transform the slow-burn psychedelia of "Show Biz Kids" from their previous album onto pure pop. The precise, staccato horn riff is totally memorable, as are the lyrics. The slower "Barrytown" carries on from this with a beauty that is genuinely sly, as does the more familiar of never-played-on-radio "Any Major Dude Will Tell You". "Parker's Band" is a dense, driving piece that is amazingly tuneful: so much so that is seems as much like electrified jazz as Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman on their fusion works ever did.
"Through With Buzz" is the shortest song Steely Dan ever put onto record, but it is really funny and to the point. The same is true of the acoustic "With A Gun", but the title tune moves back to the fierce and catchy jazz/pop of the best moments earlier on "Pretzel Logic". The vocals are unusually melodic for Fagen, but are even more effective, and the story of a failed rock star is written in a way that removes almost all the usual limitations of the genre. The two guitar solos that finish "Pretzel Logic" are also specially good both for the solidity of the playing and variety in tone, with the first much lower-pitched than the second - though even the finalé solo does not rise to the high pitches common in more modern guitar solos.
All in all, even if it does not quite rise to the level of their first two albums, "Pretzel Logic" stands as another essential release by one of the great artists of the 1970s - an artist in words as much as in music."
Any Major Dudes Know,Right?
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 05/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the release of this album Becker & Fagan disbanded Steely Dan and from than on the name referred mainly to them plus session players. They really weren't keen on touring anymore so even here they were further developing their more studio oriented sound of the future. Still there were a lot of "live" elements to this music and there are still some acoustically textured rock elements here as well that actually work with some of the jazzier flavored songs here but would disappear from the music very soon after. "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" not only has that nod to Horace Silver's Song for My Father but what I later learned is a veiled marjuana reference. I am sure many people have read other things into the song but that's my understanding. "Night By Night" is another of the stronger songs on the album,overall one of the heaviest funk tunes Steely Dan ever did with it's tight rhythm and the gritty guitars of Denny Dias and Jeff Baxter. "Any Major Dude Will Tell You","Barrytown" and to an extent "Through With Buzz" are the two actoustically oriented rockier numbers but they still tell those kind of tales....only Steely Dan seem to be able to tell. A talk box whipped version of Duke Ellington's "East St.Louis Toodle-Oo" goes into the sleekly produced funk of "Parker's Band". The title track is this lowdown blues and one of those songs where the title doesn't appear in the lyrics but it doesn't matter either way;this tale of twisted nostalgia is worth the time regardless. The album rounds out with two more darkly hued jams in "Charlie Freak",extending the Charlie Parker connection from earlier in the album,the rounded bass-driven "Monky In Your Soul" and even the bluegrass styled Western sendup "With A Gun". After this was released Steely Dan never made an album quite like this again. There are a lot of bluegrass,folk and other rootsy flavors here left over from their early days that were intermingling with the slicker fusion Becker & Fagan were coming up with. It finds the band at a very interesting point in their evalution. It's not one of their more consistant albums to a degree because everything they do musically on it is seperated out rather than fully blended together into a whole. It's easy to see listening to this how Becker & Fagan could see the demands of maintaining a band and touring could take away from their musical progression and,after this decided to re-imagine their vision."