Steely Dan, Katy Lied

Being the glittering cosmopolitan and erudite jerk that I am, I foolishly believed that Fagenbecker might have been trying to make a German pun or something with the title ("Katy Lied" = "Katy Song," get it? nein? well, ich kann dich nicht riechen, so there), but I suppose I expect too much from a band that continues to bill itself as an exceptionally durable object of the bedroom. (In the reissue liner notes, instead of a studious retrospective study of its production or interesting notes about the tour, Beckerfagen instead leads off with a complaint about the propensity of the backup singers to boink the roadies instead of them. So there.) In spite of all their frustrated lechery, "Katy Lied" at least begins in top jazz-rock fusion form, starting off strong with the hep and rhythmic "Black Friday" and then the layered smooth contrast of "Bad Sneakers." Around about "Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More," though, the jazz starts to interfere with the rock, making compulsively produced but somewhat inaccessible tracks like "Doctor Wu" (on which Katy does not tell the truth), and then sneaking in more furtive R-rated references with "Everyone's Gone To The Movies," but you know, those movies, wink wink nudge nudge, so ready to make their unseen companion come of age that I could swear the jacket got slobbered on in the studio. I'm also not sure what to do with an album that not only has a song about gold teeth, but continues it from a song two albums prior. "Chain Lightning"'s dead-on blues and the pensive "Any World" somewhat rescue the second half, but it ends on the baffling "Throw Back The Little Ones," another exercise in wondering what socially unacceptable subtext Fabeckgener is sneaking in ("throw back the little ones"? "pan fry the big ones"? "gently squeeze them"??), made more disordered by their suspect choices of time signature and the Zappa-esque bridge. I'm not sure if I just have too large a stick in my butt to really enjoy this album, and if so isn't the band name a terrible coincidence, but must their work always make me weather the conflict of the puerile and the sophisticated when I listen to it? (Content: drug and sexual references.)