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Thread: Donald Fagen - Sunken Condos

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Donald Fagen - Sunken Condos

    online listen
    certainly has the Steely sound
    more jazzy than most of theirs
    some funk thrown in
    just misses my list
    1.6 from me and a converted 2.7 from the pros at allmusic

    from the album - I'm Not The Same Without You

    released Oct 16th, 2012

    Bio - from allmusic

    Donald Fagen was one of the two masterminds behind Steely Dan, the seminal jazz-pop band of the '70s. Fagen's solo
    work has been a continuation of the band's work of the early '80s -- carefully constructed and arranged, intricately
    detailed pop songs that are more substantial than their stylish surface may indicate. His 1982 solo debut, The
    Nightfly, was the best album he had made in years; it covered the same ground as the last two Steely Dan albums, yet
    surpassed them in terms of ambition and achievement.

    After the success of The Nightfly, Fagen suffered a case of writer's block; for the rest of the decade he
    contributed music to the occasional film and briefly wrote a column for Premiere magazine in the mid-'80s. In the
    early '90s, he toured with the New York Rock and Soul Revue as he finished the material for his second album. With
    his former Steely Dan partner Walter Becker producing, 1993's Kamakiriad sounded like Aja recorded with '90s
    technology. It had some success on the adult contemporary charts, but it was overshadowed by the duo's decision to
    re-form Steely Dan and tour for the first time in nearly 20 years; the tour was a massive success. One more album --
    2003's Everything Must Go -- came out of the reunion before Fagen decided to begin work on his third solo album.

    With death as its main theme, Morph the Cat appeared in March 2006. Soon after the album's release, Fagen embarked
    on his first solo tour. It was the beginning of an extended period of live performances for Fagen. Steely Dan toured
    several of their classic albums in 2009, by which time Fagen had become a regular at Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles
    in Woodstock, New York. In 2010, Fagen formed the touring blue-eyed soul revue the Dukes of September with Michael
    McDonald and Boz Scaggs. The group had a second tour in 2012, and after its conclusion, Fagen released the lively
    Sunken Condos, his first album since Morph the Cat.

    Album Review - from allmusic

    Morph the Cat wrapped up an alleged trilogy in 2006 -- a trilogy that only became apparent when Donald Fagen's three
    solo albums were boxed in a set called The Nightfly Trilogy in 2007 -- and Fagen then busied himself with live
    performances, something he avoided at the peak of his popularity in the '70s and '80s. With Walter Becker, he took
    several classic Steely Dan albums on tour, he became a frequent fixture at Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles, and, in
    2010, he became the ringleader of the Dukes of September, a superstar blue-eyed soul revue featuring Michael
    McDonald and Boz Scaggs. All this high-octane rhythm can be heard on Sunken Condos, Fagen's 2012 album and easily
    the liveliest solo album he's released since The Nightfly in 1982. Much of that is due to a pronounced emphasis on
    rhythm. Sunken Condos doesn't ease on its groove, the way the otherwise excellent Morph the Cat did. Sunken Condos
    crackles with energy even when things are smooth; witness how "Memorabilia" and "Weather in My Head," jazzy funk
    numbers both, never succumb to lite comfortable grooves, as Fagen and his peerless band keep pushing at the contours
    of their rhythms, letting the music breathe. And that addition of space is a marked difference from much of Fagen's
    work since Gaucho, when he began to place an emphasis on precision over feel. Certainly, Sunken Condos boasts an
    immaculate production and there is not a note out of place but it is unmistakably a feel album, one where it's a
    pleasure to hear the band play and to hear Fagen play with his delivery, sculpting his phrases with an impish glee.
    That Sunken Condos also contains his sharpest songwriting in a long time -- whether they percolate like "I'm Not the
    Same Without You" or sweetly sigh like "Miss Marlene," the tunes are immediate the way the songs on Steely Dan's
    2000 comeback, Two Against Nature, were -- is no coincidence. Long a master of obfuscation, Fagen plays it straight
    on Sunken Condos, tightening his songwriting and letting his music swing, and the results are an absolute joy.

    Track Listing

    1. Slinky Thing
    2. I'm Not the Same Without You
    3. Memorabilia
    4. Weather in My Head
    5. The New Breed
    6. Out of the Ghetto
    7. Miss Marlene
    8. Good Stuff
    9. Planet d'Rhonda

  2. #2


    good track MH...but like you i wont be buying it...sticking my Steely Dan instead, but good to hear they/Fagan is still going...

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