Tuesday, December 28, 2004

William Shatner Has Been

I’m not a Trekky or a Trekker or whatever it is called these days. I admit that at one time I had that Star Trek Episodes book, which had since been swiped by a friend of mine who denies being a Trekky, too. Personally, I think his problem is greater than mine. My appreciation of the show was chiefly driven by Captain Kirk, though I’m no Shatner completist. I mean, who can suffer through any episodes of T.J. Hooker? The furthest I get is that SNL skit about the hood riding.

Has Been is something else. It’s corny, sincere, hokey, and downright excellent. Joe Jackson finds a way to blend Shatner into the music in a way that Transformed Man did not. There’s plenty of opportunity to laugh at this album, but there’s plenty of real sentiment in it as well. Perhaps the difference between this recent effort and Transformed Man is that Shatner realized there would be laughter. His personality, alone, makes this record more interesting to me than anything on the charts, or even a recent release from a veteran performer trying to stir up old waves.

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