The followup to Pretzel Logic and released the next year, Katy Lied picks up with the same style of elaborate arrangements and absolute best from every musician involved. And the songs average about three and a half minutes, which is unbelievable for all that’s packed into each song. The musical styles range from overdriven and bluesy to glassy and jazzy, and the way that it becomes such fluid pop has to be attributed to the incredible songwriting talent of Fagan and Becker.
I’m still surprised by how much I am enjoying these records after having listened to the songs on them so many times, but listening to the album itself straight through has a different sort of appreciation. While the music Steely Dan made over a half-decade is consistently amazing, there are a lot of highlights, especially Doctor Wu, on Katy Lied. But in its entirety, it is incredible even now to hear all at once. I’m sure that I’ll always be able to play this album and enjoy how impressive everything sounds.