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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

William Shatner - Has Been [Epic - 2004]

Surprises are nice, especially musical ones. And thatís exactly what William Shatner's Has Been is: a wonderful surprise.

I was expecting somewhat of a novelty album of covers. Much like the albums single and cover Common People which is a great guitar-ed up version of Pulpís retro tinged classic. But instead there's only one cover, all the rest are wonderful original collaborations tracks between Shatner and Ben Folds Five and other guests.

The tracks have a wonderful laidback and honest feel. Shatner talks for the most part about his life and fears. Often in a darkly humorous way, like on the gospel like vibe of Youíll Have Time, he intones "I might well be dead by the time you hear this".

Other highlights include: Thatís Me Trying, a song co-written by British writer Nick Hornby. Shatner plays the part of a man who hasnít seen his daughter for most of her life. The track is both touching and emotionally charged. The haunting What Have You Done? just use an up right bass and Shatnerís rich voice that intones and wonderful melon collie poem about loss of a loved one. Or the wonderful collaboration with Lemon Jelly, Together. Starting out with a country-like mellow guitar strum then adding great hazy beats over Shatnerís dialogue.

Without a doubt a refreshing and original album from a wellknown face and voice. That balances nicely the feeling of sentiment and self-mockery. Has Been? most certainly not!

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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