Picks and Pans Review: Donald Fagen

updated 04/10/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/10/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Morph the Cat


For his third solo disc and first since 1993, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen doesn't do much morphing. He remains the same eternally cool jazz-pop figure that he has been since the '70s. Never one to conform to the conventions of the three-minute pop song, he takes his time with these extended grooves, letting them stretch out with style and sophistication. On the highlight, "What I Do," Fagen imagines a conversation with Ray Charles: "I say Ray why do girls treat you nice that way/ He said it's not what I know, what I think or say/ It's what I do." And what Fagen does still works.

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