I love most Steely Dan songs. I love most Walter Becker songs. I love a few Donald Fagen songs and dismiss a few of them (actually I dismissed a chunk of the Morph the Cat album).
The song “Memorabilia” from Fagen’s Sunken Condos fell into the ‘dismissed’ category initially. However, I admit I was wrong. It’s not the filler track on Sunken Condos (we get to that one in three weeks).
Musically the song boast a tasty and deep flugelhorn solo from Michael Leonhart. In fact, Leonhart proved to be the Swiss army knife of the song, handling a variety of vintage, analog keyboards, drums, background vocals and percussion. His work on this song is a reminder that though he’s a Grammy award winning jazz composer, Michael Leonhart has made fine, high quality and eclectic rock records of his own, such as 2010’s Seahorse & the Storyteller.
Curiously, “Memorabilia” lyrically fits alongside the songs on the first of his triad of albums, The Nightfly. Fagen takes his listener to a back room full of mystery and intrigue surrounding old pictures, toys, and bobbles a baby boomer might find interesting. Unlike songs from the Nightfly or Kamakiriad for that matter, “Memorabilia” has a relatively simple song structure and relies heavily on its refrain.
Good clean listening yes, but not nearly as heady as the next track, “Weather In My Head”.