Michael Chiklis, "Influence" (Extravaganza Entertainment)
There are still a few months of the year left, but there's already a clear favorite for Most Underwhelming Album of the Year. Hey, Michael Chiklis, step right up and claim your big prize.
Yes, the star of TV's "The Shield" and Hollywood's The Thing has an 11-song debut album and it's pretty much what you feared — bland, derivative power rock. It's called "Influence" and maybe he was under it when devising this mess?
Chiklis had a hand in writing or arranging all of the tunes except the ill-advised, pointless cover of David Bowie's "Fame" that really only makes the loss of Bowie feel more awful.
Lyrically, Chiklis is as vapid as rocks. On one song he sings: "I don't know the answers/Not sure any more/I know I want the future to be better than before." If he wanted the future to be better, why release this dreck?
The very worst track is "My Gun," written from the point of view of a homicidal shooter with the lyrics, "Voices in my head/Tell me to shoot dead/Don't try and take away my gun, tonight." It's not clear what Chiklis' intent here: Mocking gun owners? Celebrating mass murder? Or showing off his creepy character acting skills?
Whatever it is, just make it stop. And add Chiklis to the growing ranks of actors who want to be rockers but really should stick to their day jobs.