My Favorite Headache (Atlantic)
You guessed it. It sounds like a Rush album. Of course, since Geddy Lee is the voice of the seemingly immortal Canadian power trio, it's tough to imagine that his solo debut wouldn't bear an uncanny resemblance to said band. To be specific, My Favorite Headache
most sounds like a Presto
or Roll the Bones
-era Rush album. The upside is that it rocks more than anything in the post-Exit Stage Left
catalog. Nevertheless, it's somewhat surprising given Lee's affinity for younger, hipper, and less traditional rock outfits like Primus, that he didn't go for something a little more left-field. Lee and co-collaborator Ben Mink, who Rush geeks might recall as the man who played the electric violin solo on Signals
' "Losing It" and who lesbian geeks might recognize from his work with k.d. lang, only get as daring as the opening title track and "Home on the Strange." Neither is anything that Eighties AOR radio wouldn't have welcomed with open arms, and Lee does a superb job of imitating Neil Peart in his lyrics. Heck, he even sticks with the trio format for the most part. Yet despite all its predictability, My Favorite Headache
is a discernible step up from where Rush had been loitering for the past decade, and for all of its similarities to that band, there's still a slight bit of distinctiveness -- just not enough of either to make it interesting to anyone who probably wouldn't have been interested to begin with.