Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Walter Becker/Donald Fagen

  • The Early Years [PVC, 1985] C

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Early Years [PVC, 1985]
Eternally faithful to early Dan, I hoped to descry the lineaments of unspoiled genius in these 1968-1971 demos, but all I got was demos. Between Fagen's scratch vocals and three grooveless drummers who sound relieved to remember their parts, these are songs casting about for a form--that is, for Gary Katz, whose smooth swing suited them far better than the bare bones Kenny Vance resorts to. Worth salvaging: "Don't Let Me In," in which they turn their collegiate cynicism on themselves for once. C