I have this weird relationship with Steely Dan, which started with Aja . I tried really hard to like them, because I thought I was supposed to like them, as someone who claimed to appreciate music. And I did appreciate their musicianship; I went through this psuedo, rock/jazz phase for a while where I listened to a lot of Jeff Beck and Jean Luc Ponty, so I enjoyed Steely Dan's jazzy rock style, and I felt like I could smugly say I listened to it for the music and not because everyone else thought it was a great make out album.
Then Gaucho came out and I gave them another try, even though Hey Nineteen was on the radio constantly and I was at that phase where I eschewed radio hits. But hey, they did make a reference to pot in the song and, being an 18 year old in 1980, that meant something to me. So I bought Gaucho and smoked some fine Columbian while I listened to it, fully expecting to dismiss it after one song and go back to Motorhead.
I liked it, though. It was really good "mellow out" music. There's definitely some albums that are made for sitting back, closing your eyes and letting the music wash over you while you come down. You don't think much when you listen to it, and it becomes part of the ambience of the room you're in, like the posters on the wall or a lamp on the desk, it's just part of the whole of what's there.
Listening to Gaucho now, for the first time in many years, it still feels like that. It's not something I'd purposely take out and play, but it does give the room a bit more ambience.
This is an album by album review of my entire record collection. This means music spanning almost 40 years, from my Archies record I cut off a cereal box to whatever I bought last week.
This is where I get to be the music critic I always wanted to be, but no magazine would have. These are more like sensory reactions than reviews; it's about what the music did for me, not what it should do for you.
You can read the entire details of the project and why I'm doing it here.