Has Been

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. OmarK
    Oct 28, 2004
    8
    If an Oracle had told me this would happen, I would've busted a gut laughing and shot her in the head. Fact is, Shatner's kicking ass. I don't know how, but I can certainly hear why. He's 73, and a whole lot younger than most other bands out there. Not all the tracks are amazing, but his cover of Pulp's 'Common People' is a surprising and brilliant If an Oracle had told me this would happen, I would've busted a gut laughing and shot her in the head. Fact is, Shatner's kicking ass. I don't know how, but I can certainly hear why. He's 73, and a whole lot younger than most other bands out there. Not all the tracks are amazing, but his cover of Pulp's 'Common People' is a surprising and brilliant choice - and his work with Rollins on 'Can't Get Behind That' - is just mindbogglingly brilliant. I am STILL in shock. Expand
  2. NateA
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    A one of a kind experience to say the least, and It's a lot better than it has any right to be. Sure, it's hit and miss at times, but when it hits...brilliant. Common People, Has Been, and I Can't Get Behind That (a hilarious rant-fest w/ Henry Rollins) are worth the price of admission alone. If you're reading this you're obviously interested in this CD...try it, A one of a kind experience to say the least, and It's a lot better than it has any right to be. Sure, it's hit and miss at times, but when it hits...brilliant. Common People, Has Been, and I Can't Get Behind That (a hilarious rant-fest w/ Henry Rollins) are worth the price of admission alone. If you're reading this you're obviously interested in this CD...try it, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  3. DavidS
    Oct 2, 2008
    10
    It is massively surprising how good this album is - it's so full of raw emotion that you'll find that you don't mind the spoken-word style any more. Further still, you'll find yourself liking it.
  4. AustinA
    Oct 10, 2004
    9
    With lyrical tunes and his strange sense of music, Shatner makes, what would be thought pointless and drull music, unique and interesting.
  5. BP
    Oct 28, 2004
    9
    My girlfriend was insistant on getting William Shatner's "Has Been" album. Consequently, after its purchase, I was forced to listen to this album, believing it would be every bit as awful as the first Shatner album was. Boy was I wrong! I was entranced from the first tune, replaying the album, immediately after its completion. Shatner really surprised me. The lyrics were far better My girlfriend was insistant on getting William Shatner's "Has Been" album. Consequently, after its purchase, I was forced to listen to this album, believing it would be every bit as awful as the first Shatner album was. Boy was I wrong! I was entranced from the first tune, replaying the album, immediately after its completion. Shatner really surprised me. The lyrics were far better than I had imagined they would be - better than much of today's popular music - being insiteful, poetic and textured as anything I have heard in recent memory. The manner in which he delivered the lyrics was near to perfection, which really surprised me. Especially after knowing how he destroyed "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". With "Has Been" Shatner has really managed to create a fine album that is touching, sad, funny, sarcastic, ironic, self deprecating and honest. He truly is no Has Been. Later tonight, I will be listening to "Has Been" along side Tom Waits' "Real Gone" and Steely Dans "Everything Must Go". Expand
  6. ZachB
    Oct 9, 2004
    9
    So weird, but actually good! Common People (a Pulp cover), Ideal Woman, and Has Been are all quite excellent. Some others not so much, but the standout tracks combined with the sheer absurdity make this very much worth listening to. Much better than most crap being release these days.
  7. KeithD
    Feb 10, 2005
    9
    simply stunning. think ben folds (no five) and emoish spoken word. (yeah its weird but great)
  8. JamesF
    Aug 9, 2006
    10
    This album is extremely addicting and I have listend to hit hundreds of times in the past week I have had it. It has everything. Bill is a poet and Folds is a genius.
  9. ChrisB
    Nov 1, 2004
    10
    Exceptional and original. I expected to laugh, instead it's must-replay cool. "It hasn't Happened Yet" is sad and lovely, and I can't get "Common People" out of my head. Give it a shot.
  10. KenR
    Oct 12, 2004
    10
    Shatner has turned self deprecating humor into an art form.
  11. AaronL
    Oct 12, 2004
    9
    What is so surprising is that this collection is very well written and tailored to fit perfectly with Shatner, his delivery, and his personality. The disc rises above being just a mere oddity or camp classic. It is well executed, melodic, funny, and at times even poignant. Far exceeded my expectations.
  12. KenM
    Oct 25, 2004
    10
    This is something NEW. Refreshing from all of the same old everyday "blah" of the music industry. Get it...
  13. JohnD
    Oct 9, 2004
    9
    An honest and self examinatory look at himself, with a pinch of humor. This isn't what you think it is. Give it a try before you count it out.
  14. JonL
    Apr 29, 2005
    8
    I've had this blasted thing in my car CD player now for over a week and the darn thing won't leave! I hit eject...but then push it back in just to hear it one more time...addictive to say the least...perhaps it's because there hasn't been something like this for quite some time. Well done indeed!
  15. EdK
    Jul 16, 2005
    8
    The music isn't brilliant and William Shatner certainly isn't an exceptional musical talent, but the album is, to put it plainly, just really, really cool. I've been listening to it nonstop for about a week. The album has a little bit of everything. I think it works so well because the tracks are creative in their own ways and, listening to it, you bring all the baggage The music isn't brilliant and William Shatner certainly isn't an exceptional musical talent, but the album is, to put it plainly, just really, really cool. I've been listening to it nonstop for about a week. The album has a little bit of everything. I think it works so well because the tracks are creative in their own ways and, listening to it, you bring all the baggage that goes with being 'Bill Shatner' along for the ride. Or perhaps it works because Bill Shatner's voice is so distinctive and he uses it so well. Bottom-line, I don't know exactly what to call this album, except great. (I'd score it higher, but it lacks the necessary musical artistry for me to give it a 9--much less a 10.) Expand
  16. JuliusM
    May 10, 2006
    10
    I gotta agree with what is being said here. I 'm a huge ben Folds fand but i waited almost two years before picking this disk up thinking it would just be a novelty. It's amazing. I think it's the first time i have ever thought "everyone I know needs to hear this". I've been listening to it non-stop for about a month.
  17. WayneN
    May 11, 2007
    10
    It's just fantastic! I was not particularly a William Shatner fan before this album and didn't even know he had recorded a previous album. But I quite simply can't stop listening to this CD, it is well balanced and at times funny and sad, pure genuis. 10/10
  18. SteveB
    Nov 21, 2004
    10
    Excellent... you owe it to yourself to give this one complete listen from start to end.
  19. grants
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    I'm so surprised! something for everyone on this one. (few grammy winners can claim that).The project as a whole blends intrspection with caustic wit in a way i've never heard before. Play this for your friends (I'm serious!), the reaction u get when u say shatner did it is worth it!!!!
  20. MichealM
    Nov 9, 2004
    9
    Give up to Shatner! There has been an influx of artists his age that are trying to leak into our culture, but Shatber is unique and the best of his bunch. Teamed with Ben folds this album is a musical delight. The man is talented.
  21. MatthewP
    Dec 19, 2004
    9
    I really enjoyed it. My wife remarked, "Man, this guy is a romantic, huh?" I've already listened to it more than I though I would.
  22. GC
    Oct 23, 2004
    9
    look, and im as surprised as the next person, this album is actually (dare i say it) - art. it elevates, amuses, moves, and certainly causes one pause. yes, i said it captain - art.
  23. RyanS
    May 13, 2005
    9
    I was absolutely shocked by how good this album is... Wow. I am a Ben Folds fan and I think Shatner is funny, generally, but his album isn't funny... It's just really really good... meaningful, touching, impressive...
  24. BarTander
    May 21, 2006
    10
    Simply, it's just unbelievably good.
  25. RobertJ
    Aug 15, 2006
    10
    Quite surprisingly, it's a wonderful album.
  26. StephenH
    Jan 16, 2009
    10
    Wonderful, funny and touching -- words that one would not immediately ascribe to Mr. Shatner's on-stage personas, but which apply to the breadth of emotion and talent he has loaned to this album. It moved me.
  27. nemo20000
    Apr 25, 2009
    10
    I'm no Shatner fanboy. Thought Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was ludicrous. Never watched TJ Hooker. Didn't buy his books. Heard this CD by accident. Oh wow. Just ignore the Metacritic score. Pity the professional critics who were so busy laughing at Shatner they forgot to listen to the music or, more importantly, Bills lyrics - for all but three tracks are co-written by the man I'm no Shatner fanboy. Thought Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was ludicrous. Never watched TJ Hooker. Didn't buy his books. Heard this CD by accident. Oh wow. Just ignore the Metacritic score. Pity the professional critics who were so busy laughing at Shatner they forgot to listen to the music or, more importantly, Bills lyrics - for all but three tracks are co-written by the man himself, and they are hauntingly biographical. Ignore those pundits, trust these reviewers. This is a must-have CD, and you will love it. You will put it on auto-repeat (but not shuffle, no no no). You will play it to your friends and probably discover, as I did, that they already have it, but were too ashamed to mention. Well it's Captain Kirk 'innit? As the closing number puts it "though there's part of me in that guy you've seen, up there on that screen, I am so much more". Believe it. Expand
  28. May 1, 2011
    10
    I listen to this album at least once a week. It is surprisingly good, and a breath of fresh air. I don't care whether it is cool or not, but I do know that it sounds good, it has great song writing, Ben Folds should be heartily congratulated for his efforts here.
  29. Jul 4, 2012
    7
    I bought this record after hearing his version of Common People with Joe Jackson. Pulp's original version was always one of my favourite songs so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the version on this record. It's a fantastic opening and really is a whole new reintereptation of the track. The rest of the album is surprisingly good. I never imagined I'd enjoy a William Shatner record butI bought this record after hearing his version of Common People with Joe Jackson. Pulp's original version was always one of my favourite songs so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the version on this record. It's a fantastic opening and really is a whole new reintereptation of the track. The rest of the album is surprisingly good. I never imagined I'd enjoy a William Shatner record but the songs are all pretty clever and the collaborations are really good. That's Me Trying (with Ben Folds), Familiar Love and Together (with Lemonjelly) are the other highlights for me. Listen to it with an open mind and you'll find moments to enjoy. Expand
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. It's that sobering confessional quality that gives the album an unexpected dose of depth and grace.
  2. For an album I approached ready to shrug off as sheer novelty, its humor and candor give it a fair amount of staying power.
  3. The problem, of course, is that Shatner knows he’s Shatner now. And so does everyone else. It’s the joke that stops being funny after you hear the premise.