61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Great, isn't it?,
This review is from: Has Been (Audio CD)
I approached this album with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, having heard Bill's jaw-dropping cover version of Common People. I was looking forward to hearing it, expecting lashings of excrutiating yet laugh-a-minute so-bad-it's-good comedy.
And yes, I found it, the comedy's there. On songs like You're Gonna Die and the magnificient title track, but it's genuine, ballsy, rapier-edged wit - not half-assed, lame attempts at laughs.
But what I wasn't expecting was the genuinely heartfelt warmth of feeling on some of the other tracks.
That's Me Trying, Real and - one of the standouts - Together, really are emotionally moving; the musical arrangements are effortless yet exemplary, and Shatner's lyrics are nicely poetic but still accesible.
However, the most striking thing on these more contemplative tracks is the man's voice. Shatner moves away from the deadpan bemusement we might be familiar with on the more humorous songs - and his voice becomes remarkably tender and touching.
I think every track on this album hits the target it aims for. The grumpy-old-man rant he shares with Henry Rollins on I Can't Get Behind That captures quite perfectly the feeling of frantically struggling with the pace of change in the modern world. And of course that cover of Pulp's classic Common People is just great, Shatner's North American (I know he's Canadian) take on singing about such British concepts as fags, flats and chips achieves just the right level of wry detachment - just as Jarvis Cocker did in his arch original perfomance, though in a subtly different way.