Donald Fagen: Sunken Condos (Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

Donald Fagen: Slinky Thing
Donald Fagen: Sunken Condos (Warners)

In the first wave of FM radio and adult-rock formats, Steely Dan stood out for their ineffable cool, poised aloofness and slippery musical craftsmanship which scooped up jazz and rock fans alike.

Fagen – half of the Dan – brings many of those qualities to this solo outing, although his vocals are considerably weaker and in places this appears more personal than Dan albums (the appropriately titled Slinky Thing and I'm Not the Same Without You which open this, then later The New Breed where relationships are addressed).

Delivering his archetypal sophisticated funk and white soul-rock with warm precision and supported by exceptional players (horns, various guitarists and backing singers), Fagen ensures these originals – and the high-stepping cover of Isaac Hayes' Out of the Ghetto -- create a tapestry which is both familiar yet offers some sassy twists on what might have been a formula (the finger-snap Miss Marlene and screenplay-like narrative of Good Stuff).

If some Dan songs seemed cynical and cerebral, those qualities are rarely evident here, but as always it's the musicianship which seduces.

Not up there with early and mid-period Dan or his solo debut The Nightfly, but intricate, adult and approachable music.

At 64, Fagen still oozes self-aware cool.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Because Pink Floyd have been around so long and went through various phases and stages, it's probably helpful for any reviewer of this album – identified by guitarist/prime mover David... > Read more

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

This second volume of an excellent series (with CDs) of New Zealand poets reading their own work came from Auckland University Press and was edited by Jack Ross and Jan Kemp. It followed the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING  by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

ELLIOTT SMITH AND THE BIG NOTHING by BENJAMIN NUGENT: A friend in need is a . . . pain?

When American singer-songwriter Smith was found dead in October 2003 at age 34 it hardly came as a surprise to many of his small but loyal following. Smith’s lyrics had been suffused in... > Read more

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, THIS LAND IS . . . (2011): New Zealand in the eye of the beholder

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, THIS LAND IS . . . (2011): New Zealand in the eye of the beholder

Some many decades ago, after my dad and I had returned from an extended overseas trip, we were having dinner with some friends of my parents. At some point one of the guests – perhaps... > Read more