“Do You Remember The Name” is one is the few Becker solo songs where I wonder what it would sound like if Donald Fagen co-wrote the music and worked on the arrangements. Becker and producer/cowriter Larry Klein yet again tell the story of a love gone wrong and a “trophy life” gone over the cliff. The protagonist’s world is sinking fast, and the listener gets a ringside seat. We get to see his view of a world where he discovers his vision of perfection was just a cruel façade.
Steely Dan would treat this subject matter with up-tempo music and a few chord changes to contrast the dire yet evocative lyrics. Becker and Klein however, are in slow reggae mode.
While Keith Carlock sounds more alive on this track than he ever did on the Fagen solo album, Morph The Cat, and Becker continues to amaze with his bass playing, the track almost reminds the listener of something taken from Becker’s first solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack, in its starkness. Even Jon Herington’s ghostly slide guitar playing doesn’t add any fire to the tune.
Becker obviously isn’t perfect, but the last three songs on Circus Money may be close. Next week Becker documents “Somebody’s Saturday Night.”
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