Donald Fagen Morph The Cat Review

Released 2006.  

BBC Review

It's the unmistakable sound of an ageing hipster using his chops for the power of good.

Chris Jones 2006

Morph...completes Fagen's solo trilogy that began with 1981's classic, The Nightfly. Whereas that addressed a mythical 1950s, and Kamakiriad predicted the near future, Morph...is very much rooted in the present. Set in New York; the title track's titular feline hovers like a 'Rabelesian cloud' over that city's streets, bringing an indefinable joy to its post 9-11 denizens.

The usual, obsessively crystalline R'n'B acts as a bedrock for some fine soloing from a cast of Steely Dan regulars. But it also highlights some of his most wittily acerbic lyrics yet, delivered by a voice that's hardly changed a jot since 1971.

They serve up the usual trivia: death (''Brite Nitegown''), sex (''The Great Pagoda Of Funn'') and love - albeit with an airport security guard (''Security Joan'': 'honey, you know I ain't no terrorist!'). 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.

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