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This review is from: Sunken Condos (Audio CD)
So many artists today claim to be musical geniuses ... but that are all no-talent jokes.
Donald Fagen is one of an exceptional few artists making music these days whom you can truly call a musical genius!
His music always leaves me breathless ... with tingles running up and down my spine. Fagen is a true master of mixing the best of funk, R&B, rock, pop and jazz into one perfect package, and his ability to write amazing melodies, sophisticated chord changes, deep introspective lyrics, and nasty funky grooves is nothing shy of supernatural.
The man is a GOD of music. Pure and simple.
Whether with Steely Dan or as a solo artist, Fagen's compositions have always represented contemporary music at its absolute highest of excellence.
SUNKEN CONDOS is no exception.
The album features nine perfectly polished soulful gems that create a musical experience that leaves you HUNGRY for more ... but sadly, with Fagen, it will be a long time before you ever get any more. So enjoy them while you can!
My all-time fave on the album is MISS MARLENE. Good lord, this song melts my heart. It's classic Fagen and represents WHY he and Steely Dan are national treasures throughout the world ... and have been since 1972. Everything is perfect with the track: the groove, the changes, the melody and lyrics. Every time I hear MISS MARLENE it literally brings tears to my eyes ... it had been FAR TOO LONG since I have heard music THIS GOOD! So long since I have heard Fagen-quality music.
But all the songs on SUNKEN CONDOS are amazing ...
Another great song is I'M NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU. The lyrics on this track are very clever, satirical and even hilarious ... and remind me why Steely Dan lyrics are considered the absolute best in recorded music this side of Dylan.
Another great track is WEATHER IN MY HEAD, a cool bluesy song that brings to mind the dark elements of Steely Dan's classic THE ROYAL SCAM.
I'd like to THANK Donald Fagen for generously releasing another album. (I was pretty sure he had retired after MORPH THE CAT, which was all about meeting your end ... whew, thank god he did not!)
And, Donald, if you are reading this review ... PLEASE, man, don't make me wait another six years before you release more new music. (That's my begging on the ground in humble prayer position.)
FIVE STARS ... only because I was not allowed to give it SIX.
Buy this album, listen to this album ... and thank GOD ABOVE that musical geniuses like Donald Fagen still exist in a world littered with the likes of Taylor Swift, Pink, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justine Bieber, and countless other no-talent hacks lining the local compost pile.
Long live The King: Donald Fagen!
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 29, 2012 10:24:29 PM PDT
Thank god I'm not the only one! Miss Marlene brings tears to my eyes and I don't know why. Excellent review.
Posted on Oct 30, 2012 3:04:19 AM PDT
Software and Sound says:
Excellent review from someone who "gets it!" Also glad to know someone else sees through the manipulative hyperbole used on these jokers who think they're making music today. As far as Miss Marlene goes, perhaps it's the musical references to IGY and Ruby Baby supporting the tragic tale that gets to you. I know it gets to me.
Posted on Oct 30, 2012 5:06:44 AM PDT
Matthew B. Diehl says:
Agree with the other 2 comments but with one thought. I don't want to wait another six years for the next one either. But like you said, there are so many no-talent jokes who dutifully release another disc full of crappola on queue every year or two. With Fagen's music, I know I'll still be enjoying it six years later when the next one arrives. I'm already wanting more!!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 10:43:20 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 24, 2012 3:13:39 AM PST]
Posted on Nov 18, 2012 12:59:26 AM PST
Bright Angel says:
I think Miss Marlene has a lot of the haunting melancholy of the Dan's first hit, Do It Again and maybe a little of the Royal Scam as well. Definitely one of the best things Fagen has come up with, and as good to exceptional as he always is, that is saying something. Someone on the You Tube post says this is about a 17 year old girl who was a bowler but was accidentally killed or something. Any truth to this? It would make the song make sense, but with Fagen, he usually doesn't show you too much of his hand.
Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:04:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 3:06:53 PM PST
A reader says:
Add me to the list of "Miss Marlene" lovers. For me it's not the tragic subject matter, which frankly I didn't even notice until I took a closer look at the lyrics. Duh. (What can I say, I'm a little slow.) Actually I was drawn in by the spectacular chorus: the unexpected place "Can't you hear the balls rumble" goes on the repeat, supported by those sweet horns and that angelic chorus of women's voices, and the funky way the beat propels relentlessly forward. Somehow it communicates the joy in being alive and having a pulse, and that love and glory can be found anywhere, even at the Bowlmor Lanes on University Pl. in Manhattan, even if only in your dreams.
Chop wood, carry water, drop the seven-ten. Thanks Donald, for this thing of beauty.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 3:12:49 AM PST
Software and Sound says:
@Bright Angel: First, when Marlene was 17, she was already an expert bowler, but when the events of this song took place, she was much older. She had to be at least 21, because on this particular night at the bowling lane, instead of bowling she was drinking heavily ("throwing back hurricanes") because the narrator assumes that she was bemoaning a bad breakup ("we knew someone had played with your heart"). University Place, being a dark street and Marlene being impaired were the two factors that caused her demise. She stumbled out into the street and was struck and killed by an oncoming taxi. ("laughing face" almost suggests suicide to me). After the tragedy, the narrator tells us that on a subsequent League Night, her hand guided his hand and he got the elusive 7-10 split. It's a hauntingly tragic, yet beautiful tale.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 3:12:50 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 24, 2012 3:13:09 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 5:46:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 5:52:40 AM PST
The album is filled with brilliant, witty, evocative lyrics -- the best of Fagan's songwriting talents on display -- in particular from "Miss Marlene," I love the line, "... the ball would ride a moonbeam down the inside line." Superb artistry-- buy this album and enjoy.
@Software and Sound-- excellent explanation on "Marlene" but I take the taxi collision to be suicide because of her running outside/ "laughing face" and depression driven drinking. Also Fagen gives a little clue to age because of the opening lines " Back in double-o-seven, miss m was queen" which is a wonderful wink at James Bond movies but which I take to mean "Back in 2007 Marlene was queen of the lanes''' which building on the lyrices refering to her skill at 17 meant that she was at least 17 in 2007 but probably older--old enough to drink. Also he talks about Marlene being a great bowler whether straight or hammered -- again referring to drinking age. Great, great lyrics. This is a brilliant album.
Posted on Sep 12, 2014 7:50:24 PM PDT
" and thank GOD ABOVE that musical geniuses like Donald Fagen still exist in a world littered with the likes of Taylor Swift, Pink, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justine Bieber, and countless other no-talent hacks lining the local compost pile.
Now THAT is awesome!!!
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