Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat (2006)


Fagen's third solo album in 24 years.  Musically, this disc furthers the sound that Fagen brought back in the early aughts with Steely Dan's Two Against Nature and Everything Must Go albums.  Well, no one is going to accuse Fagen of trying to sound like anyone but himself, regardless of what year it is.  No trying to keep up with current trends here; people under 40 aren't really the target audience anyway.  It's all highly produced music, saturated with laid back tempi, thick chords, jazzish-pop grooves, and sardonic lyrics.  But those sardonic lyrics are all about death which, as a middle age man, I'm not quite ready to deal with.  I don't care if Fagen is comfortable dealing his mortality with black humor, I'm not there yet.  So, unlike most Fagen fans, I just ignore the lyrics, which is something I do with most songs anyway.  It's no Nightfly, but what is?  Our friends over at metacritic have the album rated at 83/100.  Sounds about right to me.  I agree with the BBC review: "It's good-humoured, intelligent and cynical, and it's the unmistakable sound of an ageing hipster using his chops for the power of good." 

When the album was released, the promo materials claimed this completed some sort of "Nightfly Trilogy" from Fagen.  That's curious since I don't recall ever hearing of such a trilogy until this album was released.  However, suddenly branding the three albums a trilogy made for easy repackaging of the three albums in a 3 MVI DVD + 4 CD box set that included "bonus material" that was already easily available elsewhere.  Shameless.

Apparently this album won a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album.  I didn't even know there was such an award.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #26

Tracks: My faves are the title track, Brite Nitegown, and Security Joan but the whole album goes down smooth; don't skip anything.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: For some reason, I'm picturing myself sitting at a Whataburger drive-thru while this disc plays in the car.  Funny how the mind works.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Kamakiriad (1993)
The Nightfly (1982)

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