Sunken Condos

On "Memorabilia," a polished-up nugget of jazzy, Sanford & Son funk, Donald Fagen calls the title trappings "souvenirs of perfect doom." And if this Steely Dan-style set is proudly retro in sound, nostalgia remains suspect at best to the 64-year-old. "Slinky Thing" snarks at "a burned-out hippie clown," and a cover of the Isaac Hayes deep cut "Out of the Ghetto" gets down with a wink. The band, especially guitarist Jon Herington, is predictably hot and smooth, Fagen's voice oily-sweet as ever. On "New Breed," the singer is dismissed as "Jurassic Park" compared to a dot-commie competitor. Maybe, but to this day, no one does booby-trapped boutique pop better.

Listen to Sunken Condos:

From The Archives Issue 1168: October 25, 2012