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Donald Fagen - Morph The Cat - Reprise

For his third solo album, DONALD FAGEN continues the patented STEELY DAN sound while exploring some new territory. Morph The Cat is a concept album of sorts that concerns itself with endings of all kinds and retains the cerebral, but biting, lyrical attack that Fagen is so expert in executing.

Sonically, Morph's like comfort food. All of the Steely Dan trademarks are here... jazzy instrumental interludes, interesting harmonies, great hooks, etc. Standout tracks include "H Gang", "It's What I Do" (Fagen's "conversation" with the late RAY CHARLES), "Security Joan" (a humorous account of an encounter at an airport), and the wonderfully composed and played title track. The cd's liner notes will help clue you in as to what the heck he's going on about lyrically, and they really add to the listening experience.

Fagen has earned a right to do whatever he wants musically, and - to his credit - he never takes that for granted on Morph The Cat. He always seems to play to his strengths, and that realization means us listeners always get quality records whenever Fagen's involved. What seperates him (and his Steely Dan counterpart WALTER BECKER, for that matter) from so many other jazz-influenced rock performers is his talent for writing great songs. That talent is obviously still intact.

Written by Dan Reed

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