9 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Age hasn't mellowed Donald Fagen. Steely Dan has always been a band obsessed with perfection, with songs that either act as brainteasers or dark tales lurking under a shiny veneer, and Fagen continues this approach into senior status. He plays the role of the older man trying to keep a younger woman in "Slinky Thing." He's surprised by the advantages of a relationship gone sour on "I'm Not the Same Without You," while a blues harmonica cuts through the smooth jazz-pop. "Weather in My Head" questions the emotions swirling around one's mind. "Miss Marlene" understands the romance that accompanies tragedy among the young and beautiful. Fagen expands the modern definition of "ghetto" to re-include the Jewish people, with a bit of klezmer injected into his cover of Isaac Hayes' "Out of the Ghetto." Because he was never a young man anxious to hop on trends, Fagen, at 64, doesn't sound out of step or like a desperate artist trying to stay relevant. By following his own ear wherever it goes, he continues to make music that's clearly his alone. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Age hasn't mellowed Donald Fagen. Steely Dan has always been a band obsessed with perfection, with songs that either act as brainteasers or dark tales lurking under a shiny veneer, and Fagen continues this approach into senior status. He plays the role of the older man trying to keep a younger woman in "Slinky Thing." He's surprised by the advantages of a relationship gone sour on "I'm Not the Same Without You," while a blues harmonica cuts through the smooth jazz-pop. "Weather in My Head" questions the emotions swirling around one's mind. "Miss Marlene" understands the romance that accompanies tragedy among the young and beautiful. Fagen expands the modern definition of "ghetto" to re-include the Jewish people, with a bit of klezmer injected into his cover of Isaac Hayes' "Out of the Ghetto." Because he was never a young man anxious to hop on trends, Fagen, at 64, doesn't sound out of step or like a desperate artist trying to stay relevant. By following his own ear wherever it goes, he continues to make music that's clearly his alone. 

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