Katy Lied ($5 Blowout Price!)

SKU: MCAD-11916
Label:
MCA Records
Category:
Blues Rock
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"Building from the jazz fusion foundation of Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan created an alluringly sophisticated album of jazzy pop with Katy Lied. With this record, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen began relying solely on studio musicians, which is evident from the immaculate sound of the album. Usually, such a studied recording method would drain the life out of each song, but that's not the case with Katy Lied, which actually benefits from the duo's perfectionist tendencies. Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos. Essentially, Katy Lied is a smoother version of Pretzel Logic, featuring the same cross-section of jazz-pop and blues-rock. The lack of innovations doesn't hurt the record, since the songs are uniformly brilliant. Less overtly cynical than previous Dan albums, the album still has its share of lyrical stingers, but what's really notable are the melodies, from the seductive jazzy soul of "Doctor Wu" and the lazy blues of "Chain Lightning" to the terse "Black Friday" and mock calypso of "Everyone's Gone to the Movies." It's another excellent record in one of the most distinguished rock & roll catalogs of the '70s." - All Music Guide

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  • So what does a heralded jazz organist do in his spare time?  Create an epic prog rock album of course.  Some of you may be familiar with Jim Alfredson and his organ jazz trio Organissmo.  Theo is a side project that must scratch Jim's itch to let loose with a whole arsenal of keyboards (don't worry - that Hammond figures quite prominently).  Its very clear that Jim is heavily influenced by the classic prog bands of the 70s. You can hear some elements of Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd and a host of classic rock bands in the DNA of the material but overall its a very contemporary sounding album.  In that way its similar to Beardfish in the sense that Jim takes the old school sounds and adds it to something modern so you here the echoes of the grand old days but it doesn't sound dated at all.  I can listen to stuff like this 24/7.  Highly recommended. "Formed by world reknown keyboardist Jim Alfredson (organissimo, Dirty Fingers, Janiva Magness, Greg Nagy Band, Root Doctor) THEO harkens back to the keyboard-centric superbands of the 1970s like Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake and Palmer, but with a distinctly modern and bold approach.THEO also represents a return to the concept of the keyboardist as a vital and irreplaceable part of the group, rather than a mere sideman.The intrepid and dynamic music is paired with auspicious lyrical themes of corporatization, consumerism, loss of innocence, exile, and the obsession with celebrity. Lead vocals are handled by Alfredson himself. Usually relegated to background duties, Alfredson's surprisingly flexible baritone voice shifts from soaring muscularity to intimate falsetto and everything between.The eponymous debut album features six tracks including an epic three song opening suite comprising 24 minutes."
    $12.00
  • "To avoid any lingering confusion right from the outset,  you may already be aware of this band because AudioPlastik began life under a different name or names to be more precise. Both Alpha Flood and Brave New Sky were trialled before the trio settled on the name AudioPlastik. Whatever the name though, it’s a musical collaboration which will more than prick the ears of fans of progressive rock or metal music. The trio is fronted none other than Dec Burke, the vocalist for Darwin’s Radio and Frost* as well as being a well thought of solo artist in his own right. Dec also plays the guitar and is joined by the impressive duo of Simon Andersson (Darkwater, ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s keyboardist Richard West. Being a fan of all of the names mentioned in the preceding sentences, I have naturally been very excited to hear the final product ever since a debut album was announced to see the light of day early this year.The album is due out in the very near future and goes by the title of ‘In The Head Of A Maniac’. With a title like this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the content of this record might be a bizarre, challenging or even a wild schizophrenic beast. However, you’d be wrong, at least to a certain extent anyway. This is progressive music and as such, it does blend many ideas into its collective whole. But it is far from being impenetrable or a difficult listen.To be honest, the most difficult thing is to accurately describe the musical direction on ‘In The Head of a Maniac’. In itself it’s an absorbing listen full of wondrous aspects, one that is instantly likeable but ever more addictive as the number of spins increases. But to be more exact in order to offer a worthwhile review? Ok…If I was to try and sum this album up in a few words, I’d say it’s an absorbing blend of melodic progressive rock, metal and pop with rich cinematic overtones.Dealing with the latter aspect first, the cinematic, symphonic flavour can be heard right from the outset via the relatively brief instrumental opening. This is Richard West at his best, creating a piece of music which is subtly dramatic, emotive and pure film soundtrack fodder. In fact, much the same can be said of the even more dramatic ‘Traveller’ which is equally as enthralling and which could easily fit a suspense or action thriller.That said, West’s stamp is all over each of the thirteen compositions, bringing a rich elegance to proceedings just like he does with Threshold. Whether it’s via more subtle layers of atmospheric synths or more in-your-face modern-sounding embellishments, of which there are several (‘John Doe’) it always fits the song perfectly, providing a foundation of real depth and richness upon which all else is built.Next there’s the guitar playing of Burke and Andersson which is actually surprisingly heavy. Occasionally it is reminiscent in tone of numerous djent artists, particularly when the riffs chug in step with a rumbling bass (also courtesy of Andersson) and powerful drumming. ‘It Matters So Much’ illustrates this perfectly and is also a track that also greatly benefits from a rare and decadent lead guitar solo. This being prog, naturally many of the riffs play around with interesting, complicated tempos and time signatures but they are never complex for the sake of it and never detract from the essence of the songs. A prime example being ‘The Sound Of Isolation’ which contains a riff which befuddles my brain but which works in and around the simpler aspects of the song.One of the biggest strengths on this record however is its melodic sensibility. I mentioned earlier about the pop influences and its in the choruses that this is most noticeable. Just about every song has a hook or a melody that’s memorable. Some are immediate and others take a bit longer to work into the psyche. Regardless, they are there and many of them, alongside those modern programmed flourishes, lend the music that more mainstream feel. ‘Leave Me Here’ and the beautiful ‘Now’ for example, might not be out of place on mainstream popular radio. Elsewhere, ‘Bulletproof’ offers one of the most gorgeous choruses I’ve heard in recent times, ironic given that it’s also one of the heavier, busier tracks that packs a lot of light and shade as well as apparently disparate elements into its relatively short length. Oh and then there’s the stunning closer, ‘Distant Skies’ which pushes ‘Bulletproof’ very close, almost beating it depending on my mood when I listen.Then, to top things off, you’ve got the vocals of Burke. Those familiar with his other work with Frost* or Darwin’s Radio will know exactly what to expect and he doesn’t disappoint. Burke has a tone that’s very melodic and almost soothing but which also has a slightly rough, gritty edge to it that I really like. It means that the vocal delivery can fit both the softer, more introspective parts but which can also do justice to the heavier moments that require something a bit edgier vocally.As you can probably tell, I’m completely enamoured by this album. Almost imperceptibly, it has burrowed into my head and my heart and it refuses to let go. If your tastes dictate that you enjoy music that is rich and varied, deep and thoughtful, beautiful and genuinely unique, look no further than ‘In The Mind Of A Maniac’ by AudioPlastic. You won’t be disappointed." - Man Of Much Metal  
    $16.00
  • Private vinyl edition released by the band.Second album from this great French ensemble. Curiously their first album was released by Tzadik and had to be the most overtly "prog" album ever on that label. This new album is out on Altrock and is probably my favorite release on the label. The band creates a mesmerizing whirlwind of sax, keys, vibes, bass, flue, bass, and drums. There is a touch of Zappa in the compositions probably due to the vibes/marimbas that remind of Ruth Underwood. Some sexy Mini-Moog leads squiggle around the dual sax leads. All in all one killer release. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • One of my favorite albums from Threshold. Damian Wilson is a real standout and the music's subtle celtic underpinning give the album a distinct flavor. New edition comes with 3 bonus tracks.
    $18.00
  • When it comes to Dream Theater influenced prog metal no one does it like the Italians. Zen, Scenario, Mystere De Notre Dame, Solid Vision...the list goes on and on. Add Daedalus to the list as well. Like most of these bands mentioned there is a common flaw - lets call it a lapse of originality and a vocalist with good range but an accent. But all of these bands transcend these deficiencies with great chops and excellent compositions. Basically what I'm saying is that if you are a fan of the genre you are going to love this disc...just keep an eye out the window for the Originality Police. This is actually the second album for this band from Genoa. They went first class all the way - Roland Grapow mixed it and Rob Tyrant contributed some guest vocals. Noted illustrator Mark Wilkinson did the artwork. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • "Oh Italy, will you ever stop delivering kick ass metal? Now don’t get me wrong folks, I love the San Francisco Bay Area I’ve called home for the majority of my life, and am very pleased with the area’s contributions to heavy metal, namely the thrash era of the 1980’s, but at the present moment, no country has been consistently delivering like Italy has, especially when it comes to just buckling down and busting out some no holds barred, guitar crunching, drum smashing, vocal chord tearing heavy metal. And when it comes to metal that is blunt and to the point, Astra pretty much nails it on their album Broken Balance.Astra began their journey in Rome in 2001 as a four piece instrumental band, three of which are still in the band today, Andrea Casali (vocals and bass), Silvio D’Onorio De Meo (lead guitar), and Emanuele Casali (keyboard and rhythm guitar), and after a few changes, settled on drummer Filippo Berlini. According to their bio, they cut their chops on Dream Theater covers, and managed to win the first Italian Dream Theater Tribute Contest, leading them to a show with the Wizard Rudess himself for the Italian fan club’s 10 year party. From that point, they followed the tried and true path of releasing albums and touring. In 2005 they released About Me: Through Life and Beyond, and followed that with the 2007 release of From Within. Now, it’s time for that ever crucial third album, so let’s take a look at Broken Balance….Now, unlike a lot of the music I’ve been reviewing in recent days, there is no genre bending, no quirks or hidden aural agendas. From note one of the opening track, Losing Your Ego, Astra makes it crystal clear that they just want to rock the fuck out. The song, and the whole album for that matter, is a catchy riff fest with a strong hard rock/metal vibe. It’s the type of music that would have taken a very high place in the annals of late eighties metal, with the searing high vocals of Casali, the constant double bass of Berlini, and the relentless guitar riffs and solos. They do mix it up a bit, throwing in a few time changes here and there, some subdued moments, and a growl or two, just to add some flare and color to the overall product. Hole in the Silence picks up right where the opener drops off, without skipping a step. The third track, Sunrise to Sunset, has a slightly balladesque touch to it, with a soaring and catchy chorus that really showcases the vocals of Casali. Buried in the midst of the soaring vocal work is a brilliant instrumental section and a jaw dropping solo. It’s surely my favorite on the album, a song that will be listened to many times, me singing at the top of my severely under qualified lungs.From there they go right back to the metal. Song after song they are relentless, one of those albums that screams “LIVE SHOW PLEASE!!!!!!”.  Too Late has yet another catchy chorus, something of a standard throughout the album actually. The title track, Broken Balance, opens with a sultry tone, something else they are rather adept at, and delivers a fairly complex song afterwards, teasing at exploding out multiple times before restraining themselves, working the listener into a furious sense of expectation as to what’s going to come about. Then comes the instrumental, where they let loose in a fury of notes scattered around before the guitars take control. Six more tracks follow, delivering a good variety on their version of solid metal. Another ballad comes in the form of Mirror of Your Soul. Risk and Dare is a crushing and rather dark number on an album that is overall fairly uplifting. Three more rockers lead into the closing track, You Make Me Better. This one opens on the heavy notes, and then settles into ballad zone. It’s a love song of course, with all the requisite cheesiness lyrically and the solid climactic moments.Astra gives at the core of this album a polished sound for sure. Though there are very few mistakes on it, they also don’t break down any barriers. It is altogether a good, fun rocking album, the kind that is meant for cranking up and punishing your neck and your neighbors. Their tightness as a band is clear on every song, and the catchiness of the album should ensure a good deal of longevity for yet another addition to the growing pantheon of Italian metal." - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • Last copies of the Brazilian digipak."Veterans in the Power/Progressive Metal scene, Brazil’s ANGRA set the world on fire right out of the gate on their debut album “Angel’s Cry” – at the time in 1992 a throwback to the classic Kiske-led HELLOWEEN era with its “Keepers of the Seven Keys” uplifting melodies and speed/ guitar harmony attack. Since that time they’ve blazed their own trail, surviving key member changes in the vocal and drummer departments as well as expanding their musical template into more of an original, Progressive Metal sound. Their eighth studio album “Secret Garden” will be another barometer test for their fans, as RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione steps in the singer slot – and drummer Bruno Valverde slides into the percussion position. What does this mean overall for ANGRA? Will it be a step into the past- or a move into the future?After a solid 20 playbacks, this will probably be one of the favorite ANGRA records in their discography due to the quality and dynamic diversity for these 10 tracks. Those who expect Fabio to soar to high heavens solely on this record, well expand your minds because he truly delivers one of the best performances of his career – stretching out his lower and middle registers more so on this record than ever before. Check out opener “Newborn Me” and the serene ballad “Silent Call” for new facets to his range – emotionally connecting like never before. Musically you can hear a lot of the South American nuances plunging head first into more New Age/ jazz-like Progressive textures on highlight “Upper Levels”, something I would appreciate more from DREAM THEATER and helps ANGRA achieve that surprise element necessary beyond their obvious instrumental talent level.Those who desire the fast paced, double bass, scream to the sky Power anthem material, well “Black Hearted Soul” or “Perfect Symmetry” should give you the fist-pumping adrenaline workout you crave. Special guests include EPICA’s Simone Simons on the dramatic, Symphonic-laden title cut ballad and early Metal icon Doro Pesch who does a vocal duet with Guitarist Rafael Bettencourt on the heavier, bouncier “Crushing Room”. Add in a conceptual storyline that features a fictional account of a scientist seeking happiness after dealing with the tragic loss of his wife in an accident and stunning production values where all parts shine (including the bass heroics of Felipe Andreoli) and I’m sure this 49 minute record will receive consistent airplay for not just 2015, but an eternity as the best albums should.“Secret Garden” could be ANGRA’s best album to date: rich in Progressive Metal highlights but also remembering the right balance in terms of individual songwriting and melodic/hook aspects, this should be a benchmark for other bands to study and up their creative game. A great start to 2015 for sure." - Metal Temple
    $14.00
  • "We haven't heard from Switzerland's Kirk in better than a decade. After a successful debut album in 2003 and some touring, the band took a hiatus after their original drummer took ill. The other members pursued new projects in the interim. But as of 2010 the band has reformed, began writing, and then recording with uber-producer Dennis Ward to create Masquerade.This is solid melodic heavy metal, possibly a touch on the power and progressive metal side. You'll get the former with the aptly titled Supersonic Speed, the latter with Devil's Claw or Masquerade, by example. But some might say that these songs or something like Time and Face in the Crowd are a mash up of both.Fundamentally, what's rather impressive is the depth of song composition and musicianship. Every song sounds really good, and different, with a truckload of catchy melodies and strong vocal harmonies. Thomi Rauch is easily becoming one of my favorite metal vocalists. But the rest are no slouches either, pulling together and pulling off some terrific sounds. When all these elements come together the result is rather dramatic and entertaining. Notable are The End of the Universe and Eternity where the smooth melody, catchy hook in chorus, soaring vocal arrangement, and crisp guitar leads of each song is quite inspiring, and simply a delight to listen to. Masquerade is a strong return to form for Kirk; frankly, I don't think there's a single dull song in the bunch. Here's hoping they stick around to give us more in the future. Quite recommended." - Dangerdog
    $16.00
  • "Can it be possible that we've got to 2014 without me ever having heard a studio album by Lazuli? Yes, ladies and gents, that is possible, I can assure you. Whilst I vividly remember Lazuli live in Tilburg some years ago in 2007 at the Symforce Festival and actually finding them making a huge impression with their live performance, I simply never got around to either buying nor listening to their studio albums. Shame on me for not doing so. More so as I now fully realise what I have been missing in music for quite some years. What a joy it was to hear the Lazuli sound again and now on a new album as well.For days Tant Que L'Herbe Est Grasse has been spinning its rounds in many CD players, be it in the car, at work or on my home system. Opener Déraille with its environmentally engaged lyrics gets on its way with a fine rhythm and very varied sounds and immediately draws you deep, deep into the world that is Lazuli's. I must add that Dominique Leonetti's passionate singing and the way his vocal lines, to these ears, are almost an instrument in their own right set them apart from many other bands. It may just be that you get drawn to listening to the lyrics even more and try to understand them that much better.Une Pente Qu'On Devale has the slightest bit of a Marillion vibe that reminds me a wee bit of the feel of their semi-acoustic tracks like Man Of A Thousand Faces, yet this is more modern and Lazuli rock out towards the end. There's also some fine, fine soloing in there too.Homo Sapiens just grabs you. It's more ballsy and reminds a bit of Riverside whereas the second half of the song tips its hat to latter day Fish, that is before the band start again and we get a fine Léode solo. The Fish vibe also appears to shine through on Tristes Moitiés and L'Essence Des Odyssées, yet it is not that these songs make Lazuli sound a 100% like everyone's favourite Scotsman; not at all, yet there is a comparison in sound that, to me, flows back to the Raingods with Zippos days. Fish himself features on J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille where he gets to sing in the second part of the song. Another fine song on this very fine album, but there is plenty more to hear before we actually get to that one, the eighth song on the album.What Lazuli have delivered here is an album rich in sound and where all band members get to shine, be it individually yet moreover in how much this album is a band effort. On first listen you might find that the songs are just songs, but their build has more to them than appears on first listen. This is an album that grows each and every time you hear it. There are parts that are prog, world music, folk rock, storming out and out rocking moments and they are all brought together in this album. As I once more listen to Tristes Moitiés Lazuli again fully draw me into their realm. What is it that makes albums present themselves as ever growing in beauty? The textures, the soloing, the intricate drum and percussion parts that get to you more and more with each and every listening session. I dare say that this album has all that and, as already mentioned, there is the great singing!Multicolèlere, a play on the words "multicoloured anger", speeds things up once more and shows a heavier Lazuli. This whole song very much gets to me and perhaps there's another bit of Riverside, but let's just cut to the chase; this band sounds every inch like Lazuli should. And there is only one way to find that out for the not yet initiated and that is to just go and listen to this fine gem of an album. Don't think you can do like me and miss out on one of the finest prog bands around - why should you? You'd be missing out on real beauty. And yes, listen to this album all the way through, you won’t find that hard at all as J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille is another beauty as is the closing song, Les Courants Ascendants, the only song to reach beyond the 6 minute mark. But count that as an asset that Lazuli have to their songwriting; they succeed in writing compact songs that are all very varied throughout the album." - DPRP.net
    $15.00
  • "Deluxe two CD + DVD Edition. 2013 live release from the Tampa, Florida-based Heavy Metal outfit. Since Dystopia was released in October of 2011, Iced Earth has been on the attack in a big way, playing more shows in the past year than in the previous 10 years...combined! Early on in the World Tour the band decided that they wanted to capture this newfound energy and passion on film and tape. When the offer came in to film at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limassol, Cyprus, they were immediately attracted to that idea. The history and culture there, as well as the Cypriot audience, which the band experienced in December 2011, solidified the decision to record in Cyprus. Filming and recording a 2 1/2 hour show in an amphitheater that is 6000 years old and is not set-up for a Rock concert, paired with 40-degree Celsius heat, were just some of the obstacles to overcome. But the finished product makes up for any of the challenges that the band and crew faced on that special night."
    $16.00
  • Excellent remaster of one of the greatest mellotron albums of all time! Not even sure where to begin as this album is loaded with masterpiece after masterpiece. Comes with an unreleased track as a bonus cut.
    $17.00
  • New remastered edition with a bonus second disc with 16 unreleased tracks."Death writes about life, but not as we know it. They profile the dregs of society: the malformed, the defective, the insane. Spiritual Healing opens with “Living Monstrosity”, a song about a baby “born without eyes, hands, and a half a brain” — the product of a coke-addled pregnancy. The band follows with the aptly-named abortion-themed “Altering the Future”. Frontman and chief songwriter Chuck Schuldiner debates both sides of the argument (“Creating a life only to destroy” v. “Abortion when it is needed”) before concluding pro-choice (“The one who is with child, it’s their choice to make”).This is thinking-man’s metal, and 1989’s Spiritual Healing, which is being reissued by Relapse Records, is Death’s most lyrically dominated album — a conceptual piece about the physically and mentally crippled. It’s as though Schuldiner based his words off medical journals, police reports, and Oliver Sacks novels: “Defensive Personalities” observes bi-polar schizophrenia; “Spiritual Healing” is about a pseudo-religious murderer; and “Low Life” rails against amoral bottom-dwellers who cheat to get by.Feeding off anger and neuroses, Death plays minimalist heavy metal at high speeds and with brutal strength. The thin production (accentuated by the reissue’s improved mastering) is purposefully bleak; it’s a platform for skull-pounding power chords, growled vocals, and tales of the intrinsically hopeless. It’s hard to enjoy this music; it’s so abrasive that it can only be felt and experienced. But in this way, it’s affecting. You will react to it.The three-disc deluxe edition includes outtakes and an audience-recorded live show. Neither is practical, but they do serve academic purposes, depicting how these songs came to be and what they sounded like live. Although the band’s earlier albums are lauded as the origins of death metal, Spiritual Healing saw Schuldiner’s intellectualism blossom into unadulterated aggression. Relapse gives it the comprehensive reissue that it deserves." - Consequence Of Sound
    $15.00
  • New edition of the band's album from 1991. Contains the bonus track "Sister Bluebird".
    $13.00