Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. You'll grow to love the queen of Bowlmor Lanes, the Jazz Age gangster who takes pride in his work, the souvenirs of dooms past rusting in the back of the sci-fi shop.
  2. Oct 15, 2012
    Donald's back in his self-referencing sweet-spot, and all's right with the world. [Nov 2012, p.69]
  3. Oct 15, 2012
    Long a master of obfuscation, Fagen plays it straight on Sunken Condos, tightening his songwriting and letting his music swing, and the results are an absolute joy.
  4. Nov 21, 2012
    Sunken Condos is a slyer, slow-burning pleasure. [Dec 2012, p.89]
  5. Nov 21, 2012
    Fagen's fourth albums is as airtight as his others. [Dec 2012, p.104]
  6. 80
    This year's version features the usual relaxed jazz-pop grooves, sophisticated horn arrangements and tinder-dry ironic tone.
  7. We get grooves as smooth and tight as Lycra, funky stabs of brass and arch lyrics delivered with cool detachment.
  8. Oct 15, 2012
    It's an album built on monotony that still has a sense of narrative.
  9. Oct 30, 2012
    For all Fagen's obsession with precision, this still feels like a remarkably relaxed, quietly confident album--sleek, urbane and sophisticated.
  10. Oct 19, 2012
    Simultaneously taut and lush jazz-funk-pop.
  11. Oct 16, 2012
    No one does booby-trapped boutique pop better.
  12. 70
    Sunken Condos is a smooth collection that insinuates deeper feelings through the head-bobbing rhythms and offbeat humor. In other words, it's Donald Fagen doing what he does best, which is always good enough.
  13. Oct 25, 2012
    Sunken Condos is the kind of album I wasn't sure Fagen still had in him: surprising and yet sophisticated. Sometimes it does feel that Fagen is running through the motions, but it sounds like he's actually having a bit of a great time with the material.
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    Pity there's still too much syrup to wade through on other tracks.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Nov 2, 2012
    I made the same exact observation as sunkendreams regarding the music style as compared to early Dan work. However my interpretation varies slightly. B&F started with three great albums (thrill/ecstasy/logic) which were quirky, light, figure-it-out kind of young artistry, like a party. The next three (lied/scam/aja) represent growth from excellent in Katy Lied,to profound in Scam, to genius with Aja. Gaucho combined phase 1&2 above, with fun with really impeccable music and lyrics, and was almost like a wind down after altering music forever. **** solo albums (nightfly/kamikariad/morph/condos) show Donald's various styles and interests, and are all fun. Everyone likes fun. Now it's 2012, and it's been 40 years since the first SD album, and 35 years since Aja. What I hear is just the latest from the man who wrote music decades ahead of the pack for 5 years, from 1972 to 1977. The man who has written lyrics that are brilliant and thought compelling and have not been outmatched to this day.

    Donald is 64 years old and putting out music to match his attitude accordingly. It's beautiful when you look at the big picture. I get to groove to **** yet again, realizing who he is, how much he's accomplished, and how his music has changed through the years, as I have. We're at the phase where he's writing smooth, soulful relaxed music. I like this phase. I hope there are more.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2012
    Well, you can guess how I feel. Well, OK, more detail...some winners like Slinky Thing and I"m Not the Same Without You, some misfires, but even the misfires are worth repeated listens just for the musicianship of the crew and DF. But anyway all reviews are bs because everyone creates their own reality and who the eff am I to pass judgement on some else's creativity? Who, I ask you? Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    Great album! It has those songs you have to listen to a couple of times, and then you need to hear because they are stuck in your brain.

    really liked "Not the same without you" It may be a relationship song, but listen to it again as a metaphor about past drug addiction.

    Bless you Donald for continuing to give us excellent songs and arrangements.
    Full Review »