Live Life Like You Are Going To Die. Because You’re Gonna.

Review of William Shatner’s album, Has Been
 
That is a quote from You’ll Have Time from William Shatner’s 2005 album, Has Been.  And while this is a very simple statement, it somewhat profound and undeniably true.  I’ve listened through the album, and I have to say that I like it.  Yeah. 
 
Bill, where’s the cheesy covers of Beatle songs?  Where’s the wailing Mr. Tambourine Man at the top of your rather limited vocal range?  While your vocal capabilities are much as ever, the depth displayed in some of the songs is… unexpected.  Bill also features some remarkable performers, including Ben Folds, Henry Rollins and Aimee Mann.  Couple this with the excellent production of the album by Ben Folds, and you can color me pleasantly surprised.
 
Highlights
 
That’s Me Trying – this song is humble and provoking as Shatner shares observations about growing old.  It features Ben Folds and Aimee Mann, and this is probably why I like the song.  It is my favorite song on the album.  Nice piano.
 
You’ll Have Time – Bill muses about how we squander our lives in modern society in this bluesy tune.  It’s amusing and not heavy handed at all. It’s even a little funny in that sorta sad way that things can be funny.  I mean, no matter what our differences may be, we all have one thing in common… we’re gonna die.  Sooner or later.
 
Common People – I like the song, but I would like it better if someone else sang it.  Joe Jackson does step in for the chorus to help carry it and that is the only reason the song works.  It’s an amusing song about meeting a elitist debutante who knows nothing about what ordinary people do.  For some reason, it reminds me of the Kink’s song, Lola.  Not in the sound so much as the vibe.
 
Has Been – Shatner’s smirking jab back at his worst critics.  Amusing at times and excellently produced.
 
I Can’t Get Behind That – Shatner rails on in somewhat unfocused commentary on semi-current events with Henry Rollins.  I won’t listen to this one much, but it was interesting enough to keep me listening all the way through.
 
Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly no masterpiece, but my expectations from Shatner were such that I was pleasantly surprised that there were several songs that made my current playlist.  Give it a go – maybe you’ll be surprised, too. 
 
The website:           http://www.shatnerhasbeen.com/
 
 
 
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