Sound — 10
Steely Dan incorporates a lot of jazz style music aspects into their songs. It's not really swingy at all, just the chord progressions and song structures are based on Jazz, making their music sound very sophisticated. It's very nice to listen to, and very easy-going but not boring in any way, just flowing. The piano played by Donald Fagen adds a very very unique touch to the music. There's also some nice Latin touches to a couple of songs, such as "Only A Fool Would Say That." A solid 10 overall.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics are very nice. They're not gritty, or cheap love songs, or really even "fight the power" songs (Vietnam was pretty much done by now in '72.) They are diverse in lyrics, really indescribable. Some talk about human flaw, like "Do It Again," and some speak of warning, such as "Fire In the Hole." Personally, I like Fagen's voice over Palmer's, but both are very good vocalists. Fagen just blows me away.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this is the definition of a solid album. My personal favorites "Fire In the Hole," most likely for it's funk sound with piano, "Reelin' In the Years," and, yes, that's a hit, "Turn That Hearbeat Over Again," and "Only A Fool Would Say That." I really can't say anything against this album. It was my first real taste of Steely Dan, -- excluding a couple of casual listens to a song or two on Aja-- and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yet, I can't bring myself to give this a perfect rating. A 9 for this.