Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen
Sunken Condos Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth solo release for the Steely Dan frontman was co-produced with Michael Leonhart.
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
    90
    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.
  3. Oct 15, 2012
    90
    Donald's back in his self-referencing sweet-spot, and all's right with the world. [Nov 2012, p.69]
  4. Oct 15, 2012
    80
    It's an album built on monotony that still has a sense of narrative.
  5. Oct 30, 2012
    70
    For all Fagen's obsession with precision, this still feels like a remarkably relaxed, quietly confident album--sleek, urbane and sophisticated.
  6. Oct 19, 2012
    70
    Simultaneously taut and lush jazz-funk-pop.
  7. Oct 15, 2012
    60
    Pity there's still too much syrup to wade through on other tracks.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Nov 16, 2012
    10
    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? Expand
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    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.

    I
    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.
    Expand
  3. Nov 2, 2012
    8
    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.
    Collapse
  4. Nov 3, 2012
    2
    @awdiocritik
    Spot on run through the Dan catalogue and bar the latter years I could not agree more.
    However, I think it was Picasso who said
    something like: 'To copy others is inevitable - to copy yourself is inexcusable' and that pretty much is my point - I greatly admire Donald and Walter - their body of work speaks for itself - I just get the feeling that since Gaucho they've been going through the motions - obviously I still kept buying their albums - shell seeking for a gem ... and there have been a few: 'Things I miss the most'/''Dark Horse Dub' to name just two. 'Sunken Condos' however is bland, it's Teflon music - shiny and pasteurised. You are of course right - the chaps are settling into the autumn of life - as is their right. Maybe they did set the bar too high, too early - Katy Lied/Aja .... and it was going to be downhill from there on in. (I see that with another great artist: Van Morrison...the guy who crafted two seminal albums Astral Weeks/Veedon Fleece - and has since produced pretty much nothing but boring ersatz R&B). I reckon it's a case of knowing when to stop. Off on a tangent 'Fawlty Towers' is probably the funniest thing on TV ever - they did 12 episodes I believe - and stopped. Still a classic - always a classic. Donald and Walter can of course carry on until doomsday doing what they feel like doing, but if I want happy, clappy - sundrenchend music - I turn to Michael Franks - beautifully produced too/easy on the ear stuff - I always had **** in a much higher league - artists instead of craftsmen - on recent showing I shall have to manage my expectations. Expand