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Circus Money

Circus Money

10 Jun 2008
4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It goes without saying, given the fact that Donald Fagen handles vocals for Steely Dan and has released three not-un-Dan-like solo albums, that it is unclear what the contribution is of his Steely Dan writing partner Walter Becker to the authorship of that classic music.

We have for a while had to assume that perhaps what is lacking from the Dan sound on Fagen's solo work is indicative of what Becker's contribution to Dan might be - therefore one posits that Becker brings in a more ballsy rockier musical contribution, some additional lyrical bite, some extra rough edges, some extra harmonic spice....

Added to this, Becker didn't help himself in terms of this conjecture when he released his first solo album '11 Tracks of Whack' a few years back, which, while entertaining and a supreme effort by anyone's standards, occupied a somewhat more pared down and less slick approach to production than anything that would grace a Steely Dan album or anything solo by Fagen.

Now finally with his new album 'Circus Money' we get to hear what Becker brings to Steely Dan making clear his claim to the 50/50 collaboration with Fagen. It is the true confirmation of his genius.

Anyone put off by Walt's un-Dan-like debut should disregard that concern immediately. This music hits all the right buttons for lovers of Steely Dan - and, idiomatic as the vocal melodies and lyrics would have been to Don's delivery, Walt delivers the goods so well vocally that Don is not missed here.

Generally, aside from a couple of tracks (notably 'Somebody's Saturday Night') I think the album requires around three listens to really bed in and to have it's genius felt.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, I'm a bit late to the party, but as a lifelong Steely Dan / Donald Fagan fan, I was delighted to find this Walter Becker offering. What an eye opener! Ever since it arrived, it's been on almost permanent replay - just can't get enough of it. If I could only take one disc to a desert island, this would be it. All the subtle humour you would expect from half of Steely Dan, with the usual wry insights into human behaviour and the way life conspires against us all. Not a bad track on the album, though if pressed, the stand-outs for me are the wonderfully titled "Bob is not your uncle anymore", the evocative and ethereal "Paging Audrey" and the wonderfully bouncy - but somehow rather menacing - Darkling Down... (... it's a damn disgrace!). Can't recommend this highly enough, you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
It has taken quite a while for this one.
At first , all I thought " why did he even bother; This is an album that lacks any urgency, is flat, boring and quite a waste of time and space, especially when compared with donald fagens latest album".

Now however I have to say that I like it a lot.
There's a lot more going on here than I picked up on initially, and it is not pointless at all anymore".

It has taken a while though...which Can be a good thing.
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Format: Audio CD
I have to admit, the first time I listened through the album it left me kind of cold. I'm not a big fan of reggae and the whole album is permiated by various takes on the genre. However, give it a second listen, maybe a third and trust me the songs suddenly come to life. The lyrics are some of the sharpest (and darkest) to feature on a Dan related album (and that's saying something). But what really stands out is the vocals of Becker. He demonstrates the unique ability to lift a song, convey emotion and humour in the subtlest of ways. A truely remarkable album that takes a few playings to catch, but once it does you won't be able to leave it alone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a fan for nearly forty years and when I received this album yesterday thought I would give it a listen on the way home in the car.

Have to say that it took a long time to warm to his previous solo CD Eleven Tracks of Whack but I did eventually. So when I put Circus money into the CD player I had mixed feelings. I am pleasantly surprised by this album and yes I will be listening again on the way home. Some great tracks and some excellent tracks.

As a previous reviewer said late to the party, but better late than never.

Mr Becker you are a genius and long may you reign.
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Format: Audio CD
This LP proves (as the previous reviewer says) that WB has an equal claim to the genius that is Steely Dan. In fact it is a better LP than Fagen's 'Morph the Cat'.If you are into bland indie-pop nonsense or read the NME then do not bother with this. It's just very very good songwriting and playing. Was a bit worried before buying that it was going to sound like UB40. Thankfully not. 'Paging Audrey' and 'Downtown Cannon' particularly could hold their own against most SD songs. His voice is much better than on '11 tracks...' is a bit Dylan-like in parts without being too much of a homage.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, first up, forget what you think you know about Becker just because you have 11 Tracks of Whack, that's like trying to compare WALL*E with CARS, you just cant.Fact.
So let's begin with production....if you need to find one album from the last 5 years that will kick your hifi into touch, this album is it. The production quality on this album is absolutely stunning, from the floor humping bass guitar to the spine tingling pianos thru to the chiled out but crystal clear vocal capture...it's a joy to just listen to the engineer and mixer's aural results....i cant praise the 'recording' enough...state of the art..but damn it, it's got VIBE!!,...it's got more polish than a shoe shop sales assistant but a rack full more SOUL!...how on earth they caught the beautiful sounds so well is a testament to quality mics and probably very high end pro tools HD but who cares about that, it kicks my hifi into touch and check this out...any of you with a dedicated sub woofer should check the bottom end.....Holy Sadowsky!...my neighbours love the album and they've only heard the sub bass!!..my old Rel Strata is newly imbibed with juicy kick , bass, and vocal drawl....turn this mutha up and turn this mutha out....the sound is something most modern artists should pay heed to and slap their producers (and thwow them to the gwound vewy woughly)for not achieveing this quality of sound...it brought a tear to my eye....

Enough of the technical stuff, Whats with Becker singing again?..well here is where you abandon all hope and enter into lyrical genius and better delivery than a UPS delivery boy, Becker more than matches his musical bro Mssr Fagen and to be honest?....slaps Morph with a wet NY fish and assigns it to the bargain basement in Tower on Times Square...the man can sing...
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