In a not too distant past, between the release of the albums “Test For Echo” and “Vapor Trails”, by the fantastic Rush, bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee ventured into a solo career for the first time, being until the present moment his only try. The group was in a complicated and indecisive moment, given the personal problems faced by Neil Peart at that time.
With a few songs in hand, most of them with a less complex proposal than the one explored by Rush, Geddy Lee invited some people, among them drummer Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam and Soundgarden), and decided to record them in a solo release. Geddy said, at the time of release, that he took the opportunity to release something without the Rush name to change direction a bit, reducing complexity and focusing on something more direct, melodic, and accessible. So much so that, in addition to the intro of the title track that opens the album, the bass is simply a backing instrument, doing exactly what the songs are asking for, without exaggeration.
“My Favorite Headache” is a very interesting album. First of all, you shouldn’t expect to hear a Rush album. When I say that it is formed by something between “Test For Echo” and “Vapor Trails”, I mean that it sounds very similar to what the band had been doing at that time, but it is necessary to subtract the layer of complexity imposed by Rush. Many songs are ballads and close to the alternative rock that you hear on the radio, but the melodies are very characteristic of that phase of the band. Most of the songs have quality to spare, with good acoustic passages, good guitar lines and great production. Geddy Lee does well as a vocalist here as well, but I missed more feeling at times since singing all the time over the baseline can sound tiring.
Highlight tracks: “The Present Tense”, with its very “Vapor Trails” chorus, as well as the great “Grace To Grace”; the pop-oriented “Window To The World” and “Still”; and remembering “Test For Echo” we have the good “Working At Perfekt” and “Moving To Bohemia”. The rest of the songs are average.
To answer a very difficult question: Is “My Favorite Headache” worth it? Well, if you compare it to Rush’s previous works, it’s hard to choose a candidate track for a hit. “Still” or “Window To The World” maybe. On the other hand, all the tracks are interesting and different, making a complete listening better capture what was proposed. It looks like a progressive band album disguised under another musical genre. Now, if you like the style and don’t care if the album was a hit on the radio and on the charts, you can put it in the queue calmly.
Listen to the full album below: