Saturday, 26 December 2009

Noughties #81: William Shatner "Has Been" (Shout! Factory, 2004)

Being familiar with Shatner's first album, the odd period piece that is The Transformed Man released in 1968, I was fascinated by what he might come up with almost forty years later. Here, he has collaborated with some interesting contemporary luminaries, including Ben Folds (the instigator of this project), Joe Jackson, Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann, Lemon Jelly and Brad Paisley. Most of the lyrics of the album were written by Shatner as spoken word poems. Where his 1968 album was all pretentious art-house pomposity, on Has Been, we are invited into the thoughts and insecurities of a man at the end of his career, his regrets, loves, disapointments and approaching demise. It's incredibly sincere, and at times very moving. For me, this album was probably the most unexpected and wonderful suprise of the decade. It is also unique, which carries some currency.

Highlights: shatner - it hasn't happened yet (live) shatner - you'll have time shatner - that's me trying

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