An album by William Shatner... a 4.5? Right now you are probably staring at your computer screen in disbelief, maybe drooling just slightly, the bag of chips you were feasting on hungrily forgotten in your surprise that I would give an album by someone best known for playing a starship Captain a superb rating. However, it's true- I can't recommend this record enough.
Opening with the fantastic cover of Pulp's "Common People", the album has literally no weak spots until the very end. Some of the tracks on here are Grammy-nomination good, such as the brilliant "That's Me Trying," or the hilarious "I Can't Get Behind That." This album obviously meant something to Shatner, who pours his heart into this project. If you aren't emotionally moved by the powerful "It Hasn't Happened Yet," then I'm afraid you have no soul. By far the most moving piece on the record, however, is "What Have You Done." This song is simply Shatner talking with some faint ambient noises in the background, but my god, does it work. Essentially a poem about his dead wife, it details his reaction upon coming home and seeing her face down in his pool where she had drowned, about him jumping in and pulling her out... and about him realizing it was too late. You can feel Shatner's pain as he says, "Is this what death looks like?" and "My love was supposed to protect her- it didn't." I challenge everyone who think this album is a joke to listen to this track.
Other highlights include the funny "Ideal Woman," in which Shatner reveals his idea of a perfect woman, and title track "Has Been"- a mock Western-esque anthem, complete with a chorus in the background saying things like "Don't say dick," and "They laugh at others failures, though they have not done ***." The only disappointment is closing track "Real," which I don't enjoy; everything else here is pure gold though. One last track to bring up is the penultimate "I Can't Behind That," which, as I said before, is purely hilarious. A basic description of this song would be: William Shatner and Henry Rollins yelling at each other for three minutes and eight seconds, while a drummer and bassist freak out and some sound effects play. Sound like your cup of tea? No? Too bad, you have to hear this anyway. Brilliant dialogue.
This album is absolutely a must-have for anyone. If I could recommend you anything similar to this, I would- but I really can't. The closest thing to it would be Shatner's debut "The Transformed Man"
(which is thirty-six years its elder), but this isn't really like that at all. This is an experience that will change your views on what can be not only music, but good
music. I know it did for me.