03/24/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Joaquin Phoenix's Unreleased Album Is 'Brilliant'

Friday a YouTube video with a clean-shaven, coherent Joaquin Phoenix hit the web.


Before he left acting to become a hip-hop star, Joaquin Phoenix recorded an album that his collaborator says is a masterpiece.

"He's a Beatles, Oasis, Bowie-style songwriter. I hold it in that high esteem," L.A. musician Julian Shah-Taylor told E! News. "He's accomplished just about everything anyone could accomplish as an artist. So coming out with a brilliant album of great music would not surprise anybody, and I think that's maybe why he didn't release it...And I think it's better to have some secrets, and I think Joaquin's secret is his prodigious music talent."

This album was recorded during a couple of months in 2007, before Joaquin's infamous appearance on Letterman last year, when he hid behind sunglasses and a bushy beard and refused to give more than monosyllabic answers.

Julian has not worked with Joaquin on his hip-hop projects but he told E! he believes "he's quite capable of whatever he turns his hand to...Whatever it is, it will be genius, because I think he's close to genius."

You can watch a Joaquin rap performance here.

Casey Affleck shot a documentary about his brother-in-law's career shift, and his rep tells E! the movie is in post-production.