Sound — 10
Steely Dan's third album is another solid album, a good follow up to Countdown to Ecstasy. It shows the band's evolving interest in both the use of studio players, and jazz chord voicings. Pretzel Logic was Steely Dan's reached #8 on the charts and also contained the band's biggest hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number". The album, stylistically, is much of a compromise of the first two albums. It has the catchy hooks of Can't Buy a Thrill and the extended instrumentation of Countdown to Ecstasy. On a guitar note, many of the solo's, either preformed by studio musicians or Jeff Baxter, are fabulous, both tasteful and technical. This would be the last album Steely Dan would record were they could be considered a band, and not just Donald Fagen and Walter Becker's studio project.
Lyrics — 9
Becker and Fagen's lyrics are always interesting to try and understand and this album is no exception. Don't expect songs about conventional topics with this band. Becker and Fagen are also no help in trying to interpret their lyrics. However, the lyrics are always well written and show two well read individuals who have taken Dylan's concept of obscure lyrics to a high point. The lyrics are perfectly suited to the songs, probably because of Becker and Fagen's obvious attention to the arrangement of songs. Donald Fagen's voice is top notch and his phrasing and tone is brilliantly suited to Steely Da's music.
Overall Impression — 10
Steely Dan hit the top with this album, which contains some of the best music they recorded. I can't think of one really negative thing about this album, which goes to show that the band's careful attention to detail paid off. If this album was stolen I would repurchase it in an instant, because this is one of the few albums I can listen to all the way through and not want to skip one single song.