96 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Still in fine form,
This review is from: Morph the Cat (Audio CD)
Fagen's previous solo albums were "concept" albums: each had a definite theme that followed through each of the tracks. MORPH is also something of a concept album, although in a looser way. The title track sets the stage for what could have easily been called "New York City Stories," with various character dealing with their dreams and fears of post-9/11 America.
Musically, the album actually sounds more like Steely Dan than Donald Fagen...although this certainly isn't a bad thing. Fagen's trademark keyboards and bass abound throughout, but one immediately notices the prominent role of electric guitars on the disc. There's "real" brass (vs. electronically reproduced instruments) on several tracks, giving songs like "Brite Nightgown" and "The Night Belongs to Mona" extra punch. And my favorite new touch has to be the use of an organ and real piano on a few tracks. The music is uniformly tight, occasionally surprising (as in the trippy marimba flourish leading into the 3rd verse of "Brite Nightgown"), and NEVER dull.
As a longtime fan, my ongoing gripe is the brief amount of material covered here. Although MORPH has one more track than each of the previous Fagen albums, it still feels too short. And I love a good jazzy instrumental break, but a few of the tunes go on a little too long. In the final analysis: It's not as good as THE NIGHTFLY (nothing...ever...will be), but it's a slight improvement over KAMIKIRIAD.
Finally, a plea to Mr. Fagen himself...please don't make us wait another 13 years for more!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 18, 2008 12:53:08 PM PDT
Spiritual Architect says:
It looks like Morph the cat Cole eats well.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2008 3:00:10 PM PDT
A. Gammill says:
Ha, ha...he's your basic 20-pounder!
Posted on Sep 20, 2009 12:44:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2011 11:50:08 PM PST
A good review, but a correction is in order: Fagen does indeed play keyboards (of course), but he doesn't play bass. Becker played bass on all the early SD stuff; in later years, as Becker played more guitar, they used various studio musicians on bass.
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