This is an admittedly self-induced state for these fellas, most of whom seem to be desperately clinging to, or reminiscing about, failed relationships with energetic girls much too young for them — a not-uncommon motif running through the shared ouevre of Steely Dan/Fagen. The experienced listener expects this, along with the locked-down back-beat, the blues-piano progressions and the too-ironically-bright-to-be-comfortable (to my ears, at least) digital production. The experienced listener also tunes in for the subtle surprises, which Sunken Condos delivers in “Good Stuff” — another Cheerful Ode To The Hipster-Goon: a Prohibition-era enforcer in this case, who resolves his romantic troubles using the tactics of his profession.
I gradually fell deeply in love with this album, so my take on it is closer to this guy's (he hears evocations of the criminally underrated Gaucho; “Good Stuff” is definitely in the lineage of “Glamour Profession,” another favourite of mine). But most listeners, I suspect, will probably pitch in with this guy. If you think that might be you, do yourself a favour and download “Good Stuff.” If that grabs you, try “Slinky Thing” and “Miss Marlene.” Sit with those three for a while, and see if you don't go back and hit, “Complete Album.” It's not a bad soundtrack to have, particularly for those of us getting into the habit of bailing out our basements.