Hidden Treasures Pt. 2: Geddy Lee, “My Favorite Headache”
During the time when Rush had broken up (I don’t really think it’s necessary to go into detail here as to why that happened, the story has been told repeatedly and it doesn’t need to be revisited here. If you don’t know the story, it can be looked up), Geddy Lee released his debut (and thus far, only) solo album in 2000 entitled, “My Favorite Headache”.
In addition to Geddy Lee writing the lyrics, singing (or “whining” as it says in the liner notes), playing bass, piano, guitar, some percussion and programming, the album also featured Matt Cameron on drums and Ben Mink on electric and acoustic guitars, violins and violas and wheezing. Rush fans will remember Ben Mink as the violin soloist on the album “Signals” on the song Losing It.
Of course, there is the temptation that this album has to be compared to Rush’s music; after all, Lee had worked together with Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart for over 20 years at the time of this release. To me, the lyrics do have a definite influence from Peart. This is very noticeable in the title track, “I watch the sea/it helps to anchor me”, for example. That sounds like it could have been the Professor himself writing the words to it. Musically, there is a sense of a Rush vibe with Lee’s magnificent bass playing and of course, he sings like himself, ha-ha. Yet the album has a sound that is its own in many ways. Lee co-wrote the music with Mink who has a different style of playing guitar, than Lifeson and Cameron is an excellent drummer, but his style is different than Pearts.
A stand out track on this album for me, is a song titled Working at Perfekt. In addition to Mink’s playing of violins on it, the song also features a cello line by a guy named John Friesen. This song has a very emotional sound to it because of the string arrangement and it’s one of my favorites on the album.
This review is not going to be as long as some of my others that I’m planning, mainly because I want to encourage Rush fans who have not heard it, to give it a listen, it is quite a delightful album to hear. And any who may like the prog style, I think should give it a listen to as well.
One final comment on the album, in the “thank you” section Lee refers to Lifeson and Peart as “soul brothers, which is a very touching thing to say about two guys he’s known and worked with for a very long time.