After the breakup of Steely Dan in 1981, Fagen set to work on this critically acclaimed solo debut, which would peak at #11 on the Billboard charts on the strength of the hit I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) and its follow-up, New Frontier . Also includes the jazz-based tunes Green Flower Street; Ruby Baby; Maxine ; the title track, and more.
Donald Fagen's 1982 solo debut extends the sleek, smart pop craft of his work with Steely Dan
into the realm of the concept album, taking the Dan's penchant for intricate plotting, evocative narrative voices, and allusive imagery to the logical next step. Fagen's connective thread is futurist nostalgia for the "New Frontier" as anticipated from the prosperous vantage point of late-'50s America. He romanticizes a brave new world of technology in the sultry diorama of "I.G.Y.," celebrating the coming glories of the Atomic Age. He then filters that view through his own suburban adolescence--a would-be seduction in a fallout shelter, the siren song of a graveyard-shift jazz DJ, a not-quite-hard-boiled noir
adventure ("The Goodbye Look") that borrows its title from an early '60s Ross MacDonald
mystery. Song for song, the set's a stunner and stands apart from Steely Dan thanks to a unique, poignant romanticism embodied in Fagen's yearning "Maxine" and a creamy update of Dion & the Belmonts
' "Ruby Baby." --Sam Sutherland