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Ponder the Mystery (feat. Billy Sherwood)

October 8, 2013 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Label: Cleopatra Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2013 Cleopatra Records
  • Total Length: 1:05:02
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00FASQP42
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,510 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark J. Sieber on October 22, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I am a huge fan of Shatner's Has Been, and I liked Seeking Major Tom a lot, too. So I was looking forward to this release with great anticipation. I am somewhat disappointed in the results.

I can't fault Mr. Shatner. His delivery is sure and compelling, and while after only a couple of listens I am not completely familiar with his lyrics, it is obvious that he put his heart and soul into this album.

The guest list for Ponder the Mystery is impressive, and they all turn in excellent performances. In fact, all the music is first rate.

I hate to do so, but I have to echo some of the sentiments about Billy Sherwood. He is a gifted musician, and he undoubtedly worked hard on this project, but his droning vocals get to be really hard to take. They are distracting and often irritating.

I liked the other Shatner albums so much I sprang for the pricy vinyl release of Ponder the Mystery, and I wish I hadn't. A download would have been good enough. I do love the orange and cobalt blue vinyl though.

I will continue to ponder this mystery, and perhaps my opinion will change.
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What is there to say? The album is decent and as typically intrpospective as his previous full length album of original material, "Has Been." It just has one massive downflaw. Billy Sherwood's production doesn't work. Spoken word broken up with very bad vocals. I like Shatner's songs, but I wish there would be a stripped down version that ditched many of the elements of Sherwood's productions.
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Let's face it: the words "a new William Shatner album" don't generate breathless anticipation for many people, but I have to admit that this one is pretty good. I am a longtime fan of both Star Trek and progressive rock, and this confluence of both worlds was more than enough to pique my interest. The music is very good! Billy Sherwood writes and performs some of his most focused and melodic tunes to accompany Mr. Shatner's spoken word recitations of his own verses. And what verses! They are very personal and reflective, delivered with his warm, measured tones. There is candor, sadness, humor and wonder in equal measure. He unabashedly ruminates about mortality and the meaning of existence--surely topics that preoccupy him greatly at this stage in his life. Yet the melancholy gives way to joy and optimism by the time the album concludes. Mr. Shatner celebrates the fact that has seen a lot and done a lot. And he continues to work at a breakneck pace that would exhaust a man half his age. I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because there is an implied finality that does sadden me. William Shatner is an imperfect man who has led an imperfect though storied existence. Were this to be his final artistic statement (it won't be), it's one that would befit an iconic figure for my generation.
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Not Shatner's best. Sometimes pretentious, verging upon silly monologs, coupled with derivitive, neo-prog rock. Imagine the corniest parts of "The Transformed Man" sung (?) along to a YES tribute band.
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Although I enjoyed watching the Stark Trek TV shows I never thought I would have any William Shatner album. What got me to buy this was the fact that I had bought the previous two releases of Billy Sherwood, which are the Prog Collective albums, and I am a Yes fan. This is much like the Prog Collective work, but it's more fun to listen to. Shatner's spoken words add another dimension to the music. Perhaps it's like the Moody Blues and Mike Pinder reciting poems on Days of Future Passed. It's just more relaxing, playful, yet serious at times. It's like a breath of fresh air. The tracks are fresh sounding. It has most of what I'm looking for in progressive rock. Actually some of the things I didn't like about Prog Collective/Sherwood albums are not a problem with this. The spoken word makes you think, and it's kind of funny, but serious at the same time. This would be great to listen to when looking at the stars, or going on a trip in the wilderness. I think part of the reason I'm enjoying this, is because I've developed more of a taste for Sherwood's stuff and maybe he's getting better. When Sherwood was in Yes, it wasn't the best stuff, but vocally and lyrically it was good.
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Another album by William Shatner? Well, why not? Unfortunately, this is probably the least enjoyable of his albums. It's not funny (intentionally or otherwise) and it isn't completely successful as a serious album. The fault probably lies with the production. It's rather monotonous, despite having different guest musicians on every track. Better luck next time, Bill.
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"Ponder the Mystery" made a superb soundtrack to play whilst running my home-built laser light and projection show! The combination of the rock-inspired music, and William Shatner's spoken verse, made an excellent sonic backdrop to the visual experience I was able to create, reminiscent of the laser light shows I grew up seeing when I was younger. I can't recommend it enough.
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To echo a lot of people, Billy Sherwood's electric guitar and synthesizers and such make this sound totally 80s and doesn't really go with Shatner's material that well. Despite that for some reason I couldn't help listening to this over and over again. I think it's just so goofy that I couldn't stop myself. "Has Been" with Ben Folds is still Shatner's best.
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