Because I don’t have any other ‘spoken word’ albums in my collection, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I have heard pieces of one of Shatner’s previous works, The Transformed Man, and was less than impressed. Based on other reviews I have read and heard, I had an idea that it would live up to its title — an album by a washed-up, ‘Has Been’, making one last kick at notoriety.
This collaboration with Ben Folds is excellent. Folds produced the album, which features Joe Jackson, Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann and Brad Paisley. The final track, ‘Real’, having been written exclusively as a duet for Paisley and Shatner for this album. The track with Rollins, ‘I Can’t Get Behind That’, is a little over the top, but I think either Rollins or Shatner were happy working with another spoken word artist and put together something the two of them could get behind. Both the title track and the first track on the album, ‘Common People’ (with Joe Jackson), stand out as my favourites.
8 out of 10 saltines from the Big Cracker! Good Stuff!