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Donald Fagen: Kamakiriad

Geoffrey Himes, The Washington Post, March 1993

DONALD FAGEN'S first album in 11 years, Kamakiriad, can be judged from two different perspectives. On the one hand, it marries tartly ironic lyrics with lush jazz harmonies in ways well beyond the reach of today's ambitious pop-rock composers from Sting and Billy Joel to Mark Knopfler and Brenda Russell. On the other hand, Kamakiriad has neither the substance nor the impact of Fagen's best work with Steely Dan. In other words, anyone who has missed Fagen's lusciously scored tales of alienation will enjoy his new solo album much as they enjoyed lesser Steely Dan outings like Gaucho or Can't Buy a Thrill, but won't get the high-voltage thrills of Aja, The Royal Scam and Katy Lied.

Total word count of piece: 286

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