PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Geddy Lee: My Favorite Headache

Scott Hudson

Geddy Lee

My Favorite Headache

Label: Atlantic
US Release Date: 2000-11-14

The thought of recording a solo record apart from his band, Rush, was one that Geddy Lee had never fully entertained. When a series of family tragedies struck drummer Neal Peart in 1998, the band's plans were put on hold indefinitely. For Lee, he used the time off to recruit longtime friend/guitarist Ben Mink and Soundgarden/Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron to record his first solo offering.

Geddy Lee is generally regarded as the best bass guitarist in rock music. Obviously, he is also the chief composer behind the music of Rush. Lee's new solo album, My Favorite Headache, is virtually indistinguishable from latter period Rush albums, Presto and Roll the Bones. The only notably missing component from the Rush scheme is Neal Peart's objectivist lyrics. Take half-baked words and fuse them to the driving, postmodern Rush sound and you have a fair sense of what this record is like.

The opening title track contains all the familiar Rush conventions, heralded by Lee's signature bass flourish. But surprisingly, most of the maestro's work on this disc is more understated than normal, allowing guitarist Ben Mink ample room to operate. The songs are sonically dense -- perhaps a bit too much for the relatively mundane subject matter of the lyrics. Lee is taken up with the normal relationship issues, though he occasionally waxes philosophical ("The Angel's Share").

However, still intact is the voice. Lee's high-pitched vocals, untouched by 30 years of touring and recording, still send shivers up the spine. From the atmospheric verses of "The Present Tense" to the Signals-period piece, "Home on the Strange", Lee's flawless pipes still maintain the depth and range that his fans have become accustomed to. It's unfortunate that the album doesn't hold up quite as well. While My Favorite Headache is not a bad record, it does lack the consistency, intensity and creativity that has been the hallmark of his past compositional glories with Rush.

It's disappointing to hear a fine artist, free from his usual associations, fail to take advantage of the moment and explore other areas of interest. And being the adventurous, free-form music-maker that we have grown to admire over the past 25 years, Geddy Lee just doesn't push the envelope with My Favorite Headache.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.


Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.


Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.


Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.