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Donald Fagen's "Sunken Condos"

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by bassbrad, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. I have been diggin' this new Cd for a while and surprised that there has been no discussion of the music or bass work. There is a nice article in the most recent Bass Player.

    As always there are songs of the past apocalypse, gangsters, age crossed romance, laments to broken hearts and even bowling sounds groovy. My new favorite lyric seems to be Weather in My Head.
  2. As a longtime Steely Dan fan, and also a fan of all of Donald's CD's up to this one, I was just incredibly disappointed in this one. The songs virtually all sound derivative of his previous work... kind of 'not as good' versions of some of his other tunes.

    Not only nothing new, but not particularly successful at 'looking back' either.

    Really disappointed in this effort. Seems like he phoned in the writing. Of course, he has been at it for 40 years, and eventually, the ideas run out. The playing is, of course, very good, but the material is pretty mediocre.

    Sad for me, since I'm such a fan. If this is 'the end' it makes me feel old.

    IMO, of course. Maybe for those not as familiar with the library of Fagan/Becker material it would sound better.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I have it. It's a decent cd. Typical Fagan fare. Only tune I dig and play all the time is the single, Not The Same Without You. Great tune. My wife can't stand his voice though! LMAO!
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I bought this the day it was released...played it 1x.
    Honestly, I liked the article in Bass Player more than the actual cd.

    Like Ken alluded...we've heard it all before?
  5. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    Who plays bass on it? Is it live drums or programmed?
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    There's a handful of credits for bass including Freddie Washington.
  7. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I was wondering about this album. Hmm. I guess I'll preview it on iTunes before committing to a purchase...
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    Joe Martin-
    '60s German upright bass

    Jay Leonhart-
    '20s Duvivier upright bass
    Leonhart plays all the LIVE drums under the name "Earl Cooke, Jr".

    Lincoln Schleifer-
    Telestar Beatle bass, 2008 Fender P (w/ flats), '71 Gibson Melody Maker

    Freddie Washington-
    '72 Fender P (w/ flats)

    Harlan Post (AKA Donald Fagen)-
    Various synth bass (old skool Prophet 5, ARP 2600 w/ Jupiter 8 plug-ins and new school GarageBand acoustic bass & muted electric bass).
  9. Admittedly compared to the body of work it's not earth shattering, but still an enjoyable recording- something fresh to fill my music jones.
  10. +1 It is surely not 'awful' or anything. I am a bit underwhelmed with the bass line-up. Moving from all Tom Barney to all Freddie to this group of bassists is, IMO, a downward trend within the context of the vibe Donald is going for (IMO of course).

    Again, for those who aren't Fagan/Dan fanatics (I guess I am not at this point, but literally grew up playing that stuff), it is more 'sad' than 'awful'. 'Sad' in the sense of that music and those players/writers finally 'showing their age'. It happens. Forty years of fresh product is a pretty darn good track record IMO!
  11. ahilgaz


    Oct 28, 2009
    Yes it is a bit derivative of his previous work, but hey, thats why we want to listen to him and his band. And I liked his new songs. Still great work compared to other stuff on the market today. I am a fan and I still enjoy new songs coming out of him like: "I am not the same without you" and "Weather in my head " And also people who want hear new stuff from him , check out "Out of the Ghetto". It actually sounds like a new Stevie Wonder song.
  12. Or an old Isaac Hayes one.

    Don't get me wrong, I like this disc quite a bit, but I think we may have arrived at "mature Don" style, in which we are refining rather than innovating. More power to your arm, Mr Fagen.


    A fan who gets it.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I dig the album, and even dig his synth bass work on it. I saw Fagen a few months back with the Dukes Of September with Freddie Washington on bass, they slayed!
  14. msaone


    May 13, 2012
    I love Steely Dan and the solo work but I haven't heard of this one. When did it come out?
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Not much new on sunken condos, but that what is there is just so well done!
    I can't remember hearing so many different and excellent guitar sounds on one cd. The guitars are the stend out feature on this cd for me.
    Production too is neat, as expected with fagen.
    Words are well worth listening to also.
    I really like this cd!

    But 'Out of the ghetto' is a song I never particularly liked and I'd rather have seen another Fagen original on SC.
    Never mind...enough good stuff here to not focus on this faux pas all too much.
  16. SpectorDetector

    SpectorDetector Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Really like Steely Dan and the solo Fagen stuff. That being said, I believe there are about 4 really good tunes and the rest is still passable to me, a mediocre Fagen tune is still a lot better than most.
  17. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Im a big Dan fan. Night Fly was Brillaint, Morph was fantastic, Ive listened to Condos 2 handfulls of times and i think its as good a Karma but both were not near as good as the other two.
  18. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay

    Coudnt have said it better.

    Sparkly clean production, of course, but wheres the meat?