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Geddy Lee - My Favourite Headache CD (album) cover


Geddy Lee


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3.40 | 79 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What did Lee bring to Rush? Here it is encapsulated on one disc.

Heavy rocking frost bitten Canadian boys Rush have been on the map for a good number of years now, and the trio have a dynamic relationship that few bands that have lasted as long as they have do. The line-up has only ever changed once and that was after their debut to allow Peart to join the band. Each member of the band has something to bring to the table, whether it be Peart's scientific lyrics, Lifeson's heavy riffs and passages along with a bit of necessary quirk and Lee's skilled composition. So what happens what you take the fish out of water? During the 5 year hiatus following the events that brought Rush to a screaming halt, Lee decided to embark on a solo effort. What we have here is not Rush at all. While the voice and the style of bass playing that made Lee so notable in the first place follow him onto this release and give off a Rush vibe -- this is nothing like a Rush album. So let the comparisons end there.

What to expect then? Based on the grinding bass riff that opens the title track, My Favorite Headache, a lot. While a bit misleading, as the rest of the album won't be quite as heavy as this track, this is still a great standout on the album. The distorted guitars coming in in a decidedly NON-Lifeson manner and Geddy's voice echoing in screams make for a mind blowing entrance to the album. As stated before, this is not the way the rest of the album will flow. However, what this song does is basically say, ''okay, we got the aggression out of the way, lets focus more on the emotion, shall we?''. Indeed, the next track The Present Tense does just that. Winding down a bit in terms of aggression, Geddy's bass and compositions are no less fantastic. Here is where his voice really starts to shine in it's ''new style'' -- less screaming and more melodic.

Many of the tracks on the album are just that -- melodic and very reflective. Window To The World is very much in the same vein as the second track as is Working at Perfekt. A couple of tracks that can easily lull the audience into a comatose state if they're not paying attention to what they're doing. The next giant standout however, is the amazing Runaway Train. Synths and a classic guitar riff (anyone who listens to Vancouver's radio station - Rock101 - will recognize this riff as the background to their ''legends of classic rock'' segment) press this track along until it slows down for Geddy's excellent delivery. Not a runaway train at all in terms of music, this track is tightly knit and characterized by the perfect blend of amazing music and lyrical content. The Angels' Share is another good, slower track that introduces the second, even more emotional second half, but first... some quirk!

Indeed, the pair of tracks that come up next, Moving To Bohemia and Home On The Strange are a couple of quirky tracks that Geddy pulls off quite well, even if Rush maybe would not have been able to. Moving To Bohemia is an almost ominous song with intriguing lyrical content while Home On The Strange is... well... strange. But in a good way. Seemingly describing himself in a parodic manner, this song is likely in place simply to lighten up the album before the very emotion segments begin.

Then, as suggested by the moving piano at the top of Slipping suggests, the maelstrom of emotion begins. Though subdued, there's no doubt that these tracks are enough to make one look inside oneself very closely. Slipping in particular is characterized by an excellent segment of vocalization about halfway through that solidifies the song and indeed, the album. Still is a much less heart-wrenching track that's still pleasant and emotional to the point where one wants to regain that comatose stare obtained sometime back around the second track.

Then, hey, heavy guitars! Not letting up in the tradition of Rush's coda tracks being some of the best off every one of their albums, Grace To Grace is an excellent, powerful rocker in the same style as the opener. Though it slows down considerably at each chorus section, this one is still a driving track that incorporates the emotion portrayed in the previous tracks to make for a very exciting song.

While not a Rush album and somewhat lacking in true progressive material this one still earns a 4. Not a progressive masterpiece, but certainly a work of art that would fit well in any prog music collection. It seems that bass-players really know how to capture the audience with serene music, because their solo efforts are usually excellent. Great job Mr. Lee!

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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