The Be Five – Trying To Forget

The Be Five - Trying To ForgetThis bizarre musical collective consists of former Babylon 5 cast members Mira Furlan, Bill Mumy, Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, and Claudia Christian (with Pat Tallman providing some backup vocals). What a combination! Despite Katsulas’ protests that he can’t sing (for the record, he can), The Be Five actually comes across as one of the better vanity projects by an actor or a group of actors in recent years. Bill Mumy’s role as the guiding light for the music and lyrics probably has a lot to do with this, as he has a better handle on songwriting and performing than most other actors-cum-musicians I’ve had a chance to hear. The Be Five takes a sharp turn away from Mumy’s decidedly folksy style, heading firmly into bluesy jazz territory. This suits the husky voices of Furlan and Katsulas, as well as Peter Jurasik’s raspy, growling, nearly-Louis-Armstrong-sound-alike singing style (responsible for the best song on the CD, “Put It On Down”). Claudia Christian even manages to hold a note – which puts the lie to my criticism of her performing abilities (though my comments about her lyrical concoctions still stand) on her ridiculously expensive two-song fan club CD release a couple of years ago. Several able guitar assists are provided by Toto’s Steve Lukather.

For the B5 fans who are listening – let’s face it, sadly, B5 fans will be the only people listening to this one – there are a handful of references to the series, namely in “Put It On Down” and especially “It’s Just A TV Show”, which is the broadest attempt at a comedy/novelty song on the entire album. Overall, however, I think it was a wise choice to make Trying To Forget a project with wider appeal, rather than loading it down with allusions to B5 that would’ve limited the audience further. (As it is, I’m not sure how many people who have never heard of Babylon 5 would bother with this one, so it may not make that much of a difference now that I think about it.)

I was prepared to recommend this one for the novelty value and humor alone, but after a couple of listens, I’m pleased to announce that the Be Five turned out several meaty slices of decent bluesy rock. Who would’ve thought? And where’s the sequel?

Order this CD

  1. Tell Me How (5:13)
  2. If You Want Candy (3:18, lead vocal: Claudia)
  3. When You Were By My Side (3:48, lead vocal: Peter)
  4. I Don’t Know Who You Are (3:24, lead vocal: Mira)
  5. High On The Strength Of Your Love (4:05, lead vocal: Bill)
  6. How Was I To Know (4:53, lead vocal: Andreas)
  7. Lovely In Loveland (4:23, lead vocal: Claudia)
  8. Might Be You (3:15, lead vocal: Bill)
  9. The Touch Of Your Hand (4:54, lead vocal: Mira)
  10. Can’t Imagine Blues (3:08, lead vocal Andreas)
  11. Put It On Down (4:02, lead vocal: Peter)
  12. It’s Just A TV Show (4:27)

Released by: Renaissance
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 48:52