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Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whacked Again, June 12, 2008
This review is from: Circus Money (Audio CD)
Let me first state that I am one of those people (and we know who we are) that thinks that Walter Becker's first album,11 Tracks of Whack (affectionately called 11TOW) is one of the top 100 albums of all time. There is a genius within that recording that will eventually manifest itself years hence, and the public at this moment in time is not ready to fully appreciate the all the subtle nuances and playfulness of that CD. One needs to listen to 11TOW more than a few times for it to fully penetrate the brain and reveal all the richness contained within.

This is not the case with Walter Becker's brand new effort, Circus Money, however. Circus Money hits you right in the hippocampus at first listen and by day three you are awash in the music so much so that the tunes barely leave your brain. They continue to reveal more of their rich essence as time goes on. Circus Money is more polished than 11TOW, and in my opinion closer in feeling to a Steely Dan recording, but with more of the risk taking and wittiness that is Walter Becker's trademark. From the hilarious Selfish Gene, to forlorn protagonist in Downtown Canon one hears a musical description of the places and circumstances only to be found in a cast of characters from a great literary piece. These little auditory vignettes leave me wanting more and this recording clearly demonstrates that Walter Becker is not done yet with the fine expression of his craft. I hope Mr. Becker is planning on another recording in the near future, as I don't think I can wait another 14 years for the next one as we are all getting too old too fast.

My only disappointment about this record comes from the fact that after following the progress of its eventual release on Walter Becker's website for a number of years, I am still sitting here with all this equipment that he asked me to procure for the journey, and I am flummoxed about what to do with the Xacto knife and playing cards, amongst other things. A little help, Walter, would be greatly appreciated, or maybe I just need to get back to Circus Money and listen some more.....
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2008, 7:27:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2008, 7:29:22 PM PDT
Oldbunny says:
Great review, agree wholeheartedly, this is the review I would write were I more eloquent.
I hated 11 Tracks, didn't get it...put aside for a few years. Upon rediscovering it, I started to appreciate what WB was doing. Of course it didn't sound like a Steely Dan album, that's the point--he didn't want it to sound like a SD album! Circus Money, though--now that we know how he sounds singing, it's easier to start enjoying the songs. Songs as rich and full as the best of SD! Again, great review of a great album.

Posted on Apr 24, 2011, 8:17:44 PM PDT
I too believe that 11TOW is one of the most creative albums ever made. Anyone who doesn't like that album, doesn't get all of the many things happening. And, Becker is without a doubt one of the great lyrisists ever. Hat Too Flat is just a spectacular lyric, and Becker turns what appears to be a simple song into a short film. It's a shame Becker and Fagen missed the MTV days, because the videos that could have been made of their albumns - wow. For me, I am tired of people questioning Becker's contribution to Steely Dan. I find 11TOW more entertaining certainly than Fagen's solo work, but also much Steely Dan's work, and I love Steely Dan's work. 11TOW is woefully underrated, and Becker's a genius.
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