#315Albums is a list of 315 albums that appear on both the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, as well as the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book, edited by Robert Dimery. At its best, it is a representation of some of the greatest music ever released; at its worst, it is a journey through the history of music that the majority see as important, influential, and/or relevant. If nothing else, these albums are worth experiencing at least once to get a better understanding of music, which is why we are working to complete all #315Albums.

No. 015

“Steely Dan’s meticulously crafted sixth album was Walter Becker and Donald Fagen’s stab at becoming mainstream jazz-pop superstars. And thanks to sweet, smart, slippery tracks like ‘Deacon Blues’ and ‘Peg’, they did just that.”

Artist: Steely Dan
Album: Aja
Released: 1977
Label: ABC Records
Rolling Stones Ranking: 145

If you’ve been following along in this journey with me, you may remember that Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill has been my favorite album so far. I went out the weekend after listening to it to find the vinyl, and got lucky, snagging it for pretty cheap. While I was there, because I enjoyed that one so much, I decided to grab Steely Dan’s Aja release as well. I knew it would eventually come up during this challenge, and I assumed I’d love it, so I wanted to be ready to listen to it on vinyl. Boy, was that a mistake. Aja is a significantly different album than Can’t Buy a Thrill, and they seemed to have moved almost entirely away from what made me love the latter. Instead of catchy pop tunes, we get what is essentially a jazz album. There are long interludes of jazzy music, which is fine, but not at all what I was hoping for after listening to their other album. I didn’t love Aja. I didn’t hate it either, but was as about as indifferent to it as you can get; nothing stood out as being great or bad. It is just there. This may go down as one of the biggest dissapointments of the entire journey, but it’s still too early to tell.

Cinefessions’ #315Albums Rating: 55%

Image and quote courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine.