9 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After reviving Steely Dan for a string of concerts in the mid-Nineties, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker officially ended their twenty-year hiatus in 2000, with the release of Two Against Nature. Unbelievably, Fagen and Becker have lost none of their taste or technical expertise. The album picks up exactly where Gaucho left off. The duo’s fusion of jazz, pop and rock is as precisely rendered and spotless as a figure of fine glassware. Even better, their lyrics have become more incisive with age. Rather than pursue a simple nostalgia trip, Two Against Nature follows a cast of characters, who, like Fagen and Becker, are reuniting and reexamining their former lives. The names alone are priceless: Bobby Dakine, Madame Erzulie, T-Bone Angie, Janie Runaway, and Anna de Siecle, to name a few. The album’s theme of love misplaced and inevitable loneliness is epitomized in “What A Shame About Me,” in which a former flame’s invitation to a hotel rendezvous is met by abdication: “I said babe you look delicious / And you're standing very close / But like this is lower Broadway / And you're talking to a ghost / Take a good look it's easy to see / What a shame about me.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

After reviving Steely Dan for a string of concerts in the mid-Nineties, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker officially ended their twenty-year hiatus in 2000, with the release of Two Against Nature. Unbelievably, Fagen and Becker have lost none of their taste or technical expertise. The album picks up exactly where Gaucho left off. The duo’s fusion of jazz, pop and rock is as precisely rendered and spotless as a figure of fine glassware. Even better, their lyrics have become more incisive with age. Rather than pursue a simple nostalgia trip, Two Against Nature follows a cast of characters, who, like Fagen and Becker, are reuniting and reexamining their former lives. The names alone are priceless: Bobby Dakine, Madame Erzulie, T-Bone Angie, Janie Runaway, and Anna de Siecle, to name a few. The album’s theme of love misplaced and inevitable loneliness is epitomized in “What A Shame About Me,” in which a former flame’s invitation to a hotel rendezvous is met by abdication: “I said babe you look delicious / And you're standing very close / But like this is lower Broadway / And you're talking to a ghost / Take a good look it's easy to see / What a shame about me.”

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