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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2001
I am always amazed by the still overlooked songwriting skills of Fagen. His voice is, to be flattering, distinctive, and any lesser material, and any lesser arrangements, would probably die from the weight of carrying his idiosyncratic scratchings. However, with his creative talents, the voice only adds to the over-all genius of what he does. It is as if he creates every note as you hear it, and so you want to hear it again and again. Please enjoy this album, which deserves to be appreciated without constant comparison to his work with Steely Dan. The juxtaposition of the two ouvres is indeed fascinating, but at least once just enjoy the music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I must admit I bought Kamakiriad shortly after it first came out - stuck it into the CD player and was hugely disappointed after one play. It certainly wasn't The Nightfly..or Gaucho..or Aja...or...well you get my drift! Anyhow, it got filed away on the 'shelf of no return' where similar titles sit gathering dust.

But a few months ago I finally collected all the Steely Dan CDs on remastered reissues and started playing them every night while I was preparing supper. So for some reason I thought I'd give the dust gatherer another shot and must admit it started to grow on me, albeit slowly. So I played it the following few nights and it dawned on me that I was really enjoying this relative Fagen flop. Now, it's a regular on my playlist and to be honest I can't quite understand why it didn't appeal on first play.

I do think that it is one of those that needs a little time to fully 'get' and maybe the MOR muzak impression it first gives can be a little off-putting. If you leap into this after liking Can't Buy a Thrill or Pretzel Logic then it probably will leave a bad impression, but if you ease into the whole back catalogue, it won't seem quite so different. Great standout tracks to my ears are: Snowbound, Florida Room, Tomorrow's girls and On the Dunes. I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because, despite my lavishing praise on it, it still isn't quite The Nightfly - mind you, what is!

A bit like this album, Everything Must Go and Morph the Cat aren't instant hits on first play, but please persist with them, they're equally addictive Fagen/Dan albums. My one non-runner from MTC though, has to be the irritating Brite Nighgown ....urghhhhh.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 August 2008
To echo several other contributors on this page - no, it's not quite The Nightfly, so one can't give it five. Whilst being more soulful, laid-back and funky than that album, Kamakiriad has a slightly cheesy sound at times, especially on the first couple of tracks, attributable to the synthesised "brass", so typical of 80s recordings, whereas its predecessor had pretty much 100% real instruments. That said, the songs are as excellent as you'd expect, the beautiful Snowbound being one of his best ever and On the Dunes, with its lengthy, repetitious outro which you just don't want to end, making it worth the price of the CD by themselves. You don't get many DF albums to the pound. Or to the decade come to that. Buy before it's too late.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2007
If you are new to Donald Fagen - get Nightfly first; but be warned you may well then have to buy everything he ever did!

On first hearing, after Nightfly, I, along with many others, found Kamakiriad slightly disappointing. Persevere! This gets better and better.

The production is, as ever, very slick, and some people's initial reaction is that the music sounds a bit cheesy. But DF does write such great songs: once you get into this album the combination is irresistible. It contains some FAB songs.

Give it time ... you will be rewarded - "Here come Tomorrow's Girls"
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2005
This record may just be unique, in that it is the only album I have ever heard, which actually sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a film. based on a J G Ballard type science fiction book, which has never been made! ( although if you're interested in trying to sell the concept Donald, I can have a script ready in a couple of weeks!). An even weirder concept to get your head around is that this could easily be the soundtrack to a very smart and cool sci fi book, without even needing the film. Look I know what I mean and if you already know the album, what I'm saying will sound like perfect common sense.
Concept albums were so passe by the nineties, that it was an extremely brave and confident man who could put out an album which was made up of tableaux from some future world. The 'Kamakiriad'in question is some kind of jet propelled, motor vehicle, which is still top of my Christmas list every year, along with a dvd of Abel Gance's film 'Napoleon', in it's entirety.
I could go on about the brilliant musicianship, the memorable hooks and the exquisite back up vocals, but you'd expect nothing less from anything produced by Fagen. I hate track by track reviews but 'Snowbound' and 'Drive into Springtime' are particular favourites.
Donald Fagen is truly the Nadia Komanech of rock, in that I cannot remember him turning in a record, which was significantly less than perfect.'Kamakiriad'continued that tradition for me, even though I remember it getting a pretty unanimous slagging at the time (I was the only Danfan I knew, who liked it!)Is Donald Fagen a God? No, but he could certainly give Achilles a run for his money!
PS. isn't 'Everything Must Go' brilliant and hasn't 'The Things I Miss the Most' made all the 'Best of....' compilations redundant, yet again?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For me this is the end of Fagen's 'golden age', which began sometime during the lifetime of Steely Dan, and ends here. Like The Nightfly, Fagen rather self-consciously ties the album together with a fuzzy kind of concept: where Nightfly looked back, to a strangely cosy and optimistic take on the cold-war era, this album looks resolutely forward. The sci-fi vibe was captured in the rather odd but charming video to the wonderful track Snowbound, in which Fagen's Head drives around a computer landscape.

The titular vehicle, or Kamakiriad, is a means of locomotion that is part retro '50s styling, and part forward thinking eco-motor: 'It's a total biosphere/ the farm in the back is hydroponic'! 'Tomorrow's Girls', 'a virus wearing pumps and pearls', are sexy alien invaders: 'Lord help the lonely guys, hooked by those hungry eyes'. This was the last time a whole album by Fagen really spoke to me on pretty much every track. From 'Trans Island Skyway' to 'Teahouse On The Tracks', via 'Florida Room' and 'On The Dunes', every track's a winner.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2006
Another beautiful album from this master musician. I didn't think that his first album The Nightfly could matched and I wasn't sure Kamakiriad did until I heard the superb Snowbound. Overall, this album takes longer to get into than his first but once you do it is simply excellent.

As usual with his and Steely Dan's albums the production is magnificent and the sound is still fresh and unique even after 13 years. It is a real feel good album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2011
Very good condition and value for money. It is also a masterpiece which just shows the depth of Donald Fagen's writing skill, he couldn't hide his talent if he tried. Perhaps not on par with "The Nightfly" but a great album nonetheless.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2003
brilliant album... some people class this as just cheesy demo music, the type you hear at hi-fi shows and things like that because its so well produced, but theres some very well written and enjoyable pieces- Snowbound and Tomorrows Girls spring instantly to mind- once you've heard them, you're addicted to the album. Fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
As a big fan of Steely Dan..........I just missed this one. Beautiful album, great songs and polished production as you would expect!
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