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Donald Fagen - Kamakiriad.jpg
Studio album by Donald Fagen
Released May 25, 1993
Recorded 1990-93
Genre Jazz rock
Length 50:31
Label Reprise
Producer Walter Becker
Donald Fagen chronology
The Nightfly
Morph the Cat
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[2]
Entertainment Weekly B-[3]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[4]
NME 7/10 stars[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [7]
Uncut 8/10 stars[8]

Kamakiriad is the second solo album by Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen, released in 1993. It was his first collaboration since 1980 with Steely Dan partner Walter Becker, who produced the album. The album is a futuristic, optimistic eight-song cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car, the Kamakiri (Japanese for praying mantis). It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1993.

The album follows a lengthy writer's block for Fagen; the songs are based on personal observations about middle age (as 1982's The Nightfly is lyrically described as fantasies of Fagen's youth and 2006's Morph the Cat ruminations of old age and death).

Music videos were produced for "Tomorrow's Girls" (starring Rick Moranis) and "Snowbound" (using stop motion animation).

Fagen and Becker would embark on their first tour as Steely Dan since 1974 to support the album, leading gradually to a permanent reunion.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Trans-Island Skyway" (Fagen) – 6:30
  2. "Countermoon" (Fagen) – 5:05
  3. "Springtime" (Fagen) – 5:06
  4. "Snowbound" (Walter Becker, Fagen) – 7:08
  5. "Tomorrow's Girls" (Fagen) – 6:17
  6. "Florida Room" (Fagen, Libby Titus) – 6:02
  7. "On the Dunes" (Fagen) – 8:07
  8. "Teahouse on the Tracks" (Fagen) – 6:09

Bonus tracks, from The Nightfly Trilogy MVI boxed set[edit]

  1. "Big Noise, New York" – 5:21
  2. "Confide in Me" – 4:15
  3. "Blue Lou" – 7:01
  4. "Shanghai Confidential" – 4:54



  • Producer: Walter Becker
  • Engineers: Phil Burnett, David Michael Dill, Tom Fritze, Andy Grassi, Troy Halderson, Bob Mitchel, John Neff, Roger Nichols, Dave Russell, Jay A. Ryan, Tony Volante, Wayne Yurgelun
  • Mastering: Scott Hull, Glenn Meadows
  • Sample editing: Craig Siegal
  • Digital technician: Phil Burnett
  • Digital delay: Craig Siegal
  • Horn arrangements: Donald Fagen
  • Rhythm arrangements: Donald Fagen
  • Design: Carol Bobolts
  • Photography: James Hamilton
  • Liner notes: Donald Fagen, Tim White



Year Chart Position
1993 The Billboard 200 10
1993 UK Albums Chart 3


Year Single Chart Position
1993 "Tomorrow's Girls" Mainstream Rock Tracks 20


Inside the cover is written this explanation of this concept album:

  • "Kamakiriad is an album of eight related songs. The literal action takes place a few years in the future, near the millennium. In the first song, "Trans-Island Skyway," the narrator tells us he is about to embark on a journey in his new dream-car, a custom-tooled Kamakiri. It's built for the new century: steam-driven, with a self-contained vegetable garden and a radio link with the Tripstar routing satellite. The next six songs describe his adventures along the way. In the last song, "Teahouse On The Tracks," the narrator lands in dismal Flytown where he must decide whether to bail out or to rally and continue moving into the unknown."

Music videos were created for "Snowbound" and "Tomorrow's Girls", the latter starring Rick Moranis.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Allmusic review". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ David Browne. Entertainment Weekly review May 28, 1993
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  5. ^ NME, 1993-05-29, p.31
  6. ^ Q, July 1993, p.86
  7. ^ "Rolling Stone Music | Album Reviews". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  8. ^ Uncut, "How to buy Donald Fagen", Jaan Uhelszki, December 2012