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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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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on 11 May 2017
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on 13 March 2013
In the canon of Donald Fagen's work both as a soloist and with Steely Dan this is right up there. It should be noted that Walter Becker produced the album.
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on 28 July 2008
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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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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on 11 April 2017
The best Fagan on his own Steely album. Been playing it every 1-2 weeks since it came out
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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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on 4 October 2015
Donald Fagen is a total genius - a wonderful songwriter and performer, with a passion for alternative and witty lyrics and wonderful jazzy grooves. The Nightly was an absolute stunner of an album, full of vitality, slick productions and wonderfully crafted songs. It took 11 years for the follow-up to emerge - and this one took some by surprise. Moving into the future, Donald takes us on a futuristic drive in a fantastical car, and sets the soundtrack to a wonderfully groove-filled collection of tunes. This time around, the songs are much looser and riff and chant filled. Don't be worried, though, as the musicianship is absolutely top-notch and if you give it a go, you find that the grooves are totally hypnotic and addictive. Maybe my all-time favourite Fagen collection - and that is indeed saying something!
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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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on 5 September 2016
I loved Steely Dan from the first album but found they got too emotionally remote for me by Aja. I also failed to get what the fuss was about with Fagan's first solo work, Nightfly. So when Kamakiriad came out I borrowed it rather than buy it. I taped it, (remember cassettes?), and just kept playing it and playing it. This album is fun! Song after song has great melodies and merry lyrics. The drums and bass keep that bouncy shuffle going throughout. This is an uplifting record. I have continued to garner all the Dan's recordings. Of the lot, I play this about ten times more.
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