Ponder the Mystery

Ponder the Mystery

by William ShatnerWilliam Shatner


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William Shatner approaches his recording career from the perspective of an actor: he's not driven to say something but give him a good role and he'll show up at your studio. Cleopatra Records and producer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist/general mastermind Billy Sherwood -- perhaps best-known as a member of a latter-day '90s incarnation of Yes -- did come up with a good role for Shatner on 2013's Ponder the Mystery. They had him, well, ponder the mystery of life to the sound of old-fashioned prog rock, a canny move that acknowledged the advancing age of the former Captain Kirk along with his deep associations with sci-fi. Ponder the Mystery seizes upon this vein of Shatnerdom, nearly burying his inherent hamminess beneath the glistening gloss of analog synthesizers and some serious shredding by the likes of Steve Vai, Mick Jones, Vince Gill, Edgar Froese, and Zoot Horn Rollo. While Has Been, Shatner's 2004 collaboration with Ben Folds, played off the unintentional camp of the Transformed Man, Ponder the Mystery acknowledges the silliness but never celebrates it; there's a sincerity here -- a sincerity that was largely missing from Seeking Major Tom, his 2011 collection of covers for Cleopatra -- that brings this album closer to the Transformed Man, where it never was clear what was real and what was fake. It adds mystery to a record that's all about enigmas, and, when combined with Sherwood's clever aural interpretation of Roger Dean's album art, it makes for a record that's more enjoyable than it has any right to be.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/08/2013
Label: Cleopatra
UPC: 0741157092721
catalogNumber: 927
Rank: 31214

Album Credits

Performance Credits

William Shatner   Primary Artist
Rick Wakeman   Keyboards,Soloist
Mick Jones   Guitar,Soloist
Steve Vai   Guitar
George Duke   Keyboards,Soloist
Dave Koz   Saxophone
di Meola   Guitar,Soloist
Edgar Winter   Saxophone,Moog Synthesizer,Soloist
Edgar Froese   Guitar,Soloist
Vince Gill   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Soloist
Simon House   Violin
Zoot Horn Rollo   Guitar,Soloist
Nik Turner   Flute,Saxophone
Joel Vandroogenbroeck   Flute
Robby Krieger   Guitar,Sitar,Soloist

Technical Credits

William Shatner   Composer,Lyricist
Billy Sherwood   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Brian Perera   Executive Producer
Cherry Hepburn   Publicity

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