Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
11 Tracks of Whack
Genres: Pop, Rock
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: BECKER,WALTER Title: 11 TRACKS OF WHACK Street Release Date: 09/27/1994
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: 11 TRACKS OF WHACK
Street Release Date: 09/27/1994
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Member CD Reviews
Steve P. (Jazz4fun) from LAKE FOREST, CA
Reviewed on 4/16/2009...
A must have for Steely Dan fans- Great guitar sound.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mike K. from FT LAUDERDALE, FL
Reviewed on 12/5/2006...
Steely Dan solo cd.
A moody and brilliant bunch of whack!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Stony Brook NY | 01/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"11 Tracks Of WhackThis is a most interesting CD if you're a Steely Dan fan. Just what was Walter Becker's contribution to the sound and writing of Steely Dan's music ? Well, I think this superb CD answers a lot of that question. First off, Becker is the funkier of the two writers (the other being of course - Donald Fagen) and secondly the laid back feel behind Becker's singing and tasty guitar playing is nothing short of genius. You can't buy it. You either have or you don't. He seems to have provided the bottom glue and feel to all those great Steely Dan tunes not mention the odd musical breaks here and there that clearly match his absurd sense of humor. One can check this out by comparing this CD with Fagen's excellent Nitefly CD and Kamakiriad collection. Though most of these tunes are not as harmoically dense or as melodic as Fagen's outings or for that matter Steely Dan (most probably because Becker's singing range is limited and he is composing with a guitar which in most cases lends to a much more rhythmic approach to song writing) it doesn't matter. The cutting edge phrasing hugging the biting personal lyrics (something Fagen seems more apt to shy away from) make up for it. Not to say there isn't a good melody here. The hook to "Hat is Too Flat" and "Girlfriend" are excellent as well as "Junkie Girl" and the guitar/vocal riff in "Lucky Henry". The production is a little loser and more atmospherieric than your average Steely Dan masterpiece (check out the monks chanting in "Surf or Die") and some very odd keyboard and guitar solos abound. The engineering is pristine as usual but a bit too sterile for my taste and I would have preferred a real drum kit on the opening cut "Down At The Bottom" (The snare drum will rip your head right off - probably what WB intended knowing his twisted mind.) To my ears this collection of tunes is kind of a song cycle depicting the craziness that Becker has been going through since the 80s. It's very personal. He writes about his son, the death of a close friend, his ex-wife and of course his own short comings (This Moody Bastard). He seems to have grown a lot and shed some skin with this CD and working again with Fagen who produced it, is an extra bonus. Listening to this collection makes it so clear how perfect a team Becker and Fagen really are. Rich harmonic structure - intellectual sarcasm and perfection (Fagen) blended with lose street smart funk and wacky cynicism (Becker). Amazing. We're lucky they found each other or so much great music may not have been written by these two geniuses.11 Tracks of Whack is a wonderful piece of honest work that really grows on you. Buy it and live it. And ya get 12 songs not 11. Which song is not the whack? Not sure. My guess it's the last one about his son but with WB ya never know. - John Tabacco"
The Other Half of the Steely Dan Story
Bud | Seminole, Texas, USA | 04/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"According to a 1979 Hofstra University Chronicle, Steely Dan wasn't exactly a band, but rather like the Star Trek character "Captain Pike, a mutilated individual who possessed an intelligent brain but was without a body." The duo that comprised Steely Dan, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen had become one person musically, in a manner of speaking, so naturally when the outfit broke up in 1980 it seemed one could not survive without the other (maybe they were right--Steely Dan would reunite in the early 90s and participate in each other's solo projects, remaining active to this day). But since Donald Fagen was the first to come out with a solo album (1982's "The Nightfly"), not to mention soundtrack and literary work, it was assumed that it was he who had been the more creative half. Walter Becker meanwhile pursued a quiet producing career. But after the Steely Dan reunion tours, Becker surprised any skeptics with a 1994 solo album "11 Tracks Of Whack."
Nothing beats Steely Dan, but as far as solo albums go, Becker establishes himself musically and completely blows away any claim that he was a lesser element to Steely Dan. One instantly recognizes the cynical black humor that made Steely Dan's music so unique. Normally, if a solo album sounds just like the band the soloist is a member of, it would be a flaw, but here it serves to prove one thing: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen share a very unique, striking musical bond that one seldom sees these days. Becker's lazy-cool vocals describe a world of losers, mind-boggling characters and relationships ('Lucky Henry,' 'Girlfriend') self-mocking situations ('Book of Liars') and slums-with-a-smile ('Down in the Bottom,' 'Junkie Girl') the very same things that came from Fagen's voice in Steely Dan. This proves that credit for Steely Dan's magic should be given equally to Fagen and Becker-after all, they're one of the few bands that doesn't have a history riddled with disputes over songwriting credits.
But even so, each man brought his own element to the music; whereas Donald Fagen's solo outings were more elegant and evocative, "11 Tracks of Whack" meanwhile is more hard-nosed and rough around the edges. Fagen's solo albums may remind the listener of something like 'Deacon Blues' or 'Gaucho,' where "Whack" reminds one of songs like 'Bodhisattva' and a lot of "Countdown To Ecstasy." Becker's lounge-lizard voice fits so well with his lyrics and music, it makes one wonder why he didn't sing more with Steely Dan. Perhaps it's because his vocals have gotten more seductive with aging. His voice would have slithered well on 'Chain Lightning' or 'Razor Boy.' The instrumentation meanwhile is tight yet stripped down, but never sloppy. "11 Tracks of Whack" definitely lives up to its name, and the twelfth track 'Little Kawai' is just as interesting, even if it was decided that the word "whack" didn't describe it best. It's hard to discuss Donald Fagen or Walter Becker without referring to Steely Dan numerous times; but their solo works put an eyeglass on the elements that each man brought to that dark, cynical team."