Avatar Four Word Reviews: Strike

It’s that time again. Time to slide another unwanted CD into the player and see what fate has in store. This time around we are meeting The Baseballs, who are presenting us with their debut album “Strike!” from 2009. I hadn’t heard of this album, or this band, before, but a look at it and a bit of cursory research suggested this Four Word Review wouldn’t be too bad. Some are painful, of course, and others are just a bit of fun. I was dismayed to find, however, that this was a genuinely unpleasant experience, and in this review I’ll be attempting to work out why.

This should have been fun, you see. The album cover tells you what you’re getting: a load of modern pop music, covered in an old fashioned rock and roll style. Sure, it’s a novelty record, but that might be OK. And this did quite well: it’s a novelty record by a German covers band, but it reached number 4 in the UK album chart. I mean, the British public will buy a lot of old nonsense, but surely they have at least some taste.

Then I pressed play, and oh my word. This is way more novelty than I had expected. It’s something like an unholy cross between an Elvis tribute act and a barbershop quartet. It is, to its credit, quite well made – they can sing, the production is very good, and the songs are all varied in style. When you listen to it you can properly picture them all; you instantly see the three of them singing into those vintage chrome microphones in a classic American diner.

It is, in other words, hard to dislike a bit of upbeat pop fun, and this is some upbeat pop fun. But don’t worry, I managed it. I found this album intensely annoying.

Let’s see what’s on the menu.

TrackWord 1Word 2Word 3Word 4
1. UmbrellaUpbeatnoveltyRihannanonsense
2. Love in This ClubHillbillynoveltyupbeatthing
3. Hey There DelilahIalreadyhatethis
4. Bleeding LoveUpbeatdoo-wopnoveltyballad
5. Hot N ColdKatyPerrybutworse
6. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’Elvisdoeslinedancing
7. Don’t ChaSloweddownPussycatnonsense
8. Let’s Get LoudLet’sgetquietsoon
9. AngelsUpbeatnoveltyRobbieetc.
10. Crazy in LoveJustwhatyouexpect
11. This LoveMaroon5slowersadly
12. The LookUpbeatnoveltyRoxetteFFS

In the main I knew these songs but not who they were by – bits of pop from an era when I wasn’t really paying attention to the charts, so I kept having to google who sang them originally, adding to my annoyance. I would struggle to explain to you why exactly this album wound me up the way it did: it was inoffensive and fairly easy going, and yet I was genuinely more and more irritated by every song that came along.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t understand why this has to exist. I get the joke – ha ha, modern songs but done like it’s Elvis or Buddy Holly or something, ha ha. Yes. I don’t mind a bit of that kind of thing. Someone once lent me an album that included an Elvis impersonator doing a really good cover of Come As You Are by Nirvana and it was great. I’m not against that kind of stuff. But this is too much, trying too hard, and they’re so bloody happy with it all. I was done with it about half way through track 1.

In summary, my favourite thing about this album is the picture on the cover which is probably the most enjoyable and amusing thing about it. My least favourite thing was that – on an album that was mainly covers of Katy Perry and the Pussycat Dolls – they finished with a Roxette cover as a sort of final slap to the face. Unbelievable.

4 comments on “Four Word Reviews: Strike

  • We tried watching some of their videos and we couldn’t. The intimate live performances suggests they’re nowhere near Take That levels of success but they do have a following. We’ll see them next time they’re touring the UK, get your CD signed.

  • I don’t know who is included in the “we” you refer to, but I assume it’s not me. I will not be seeing The Baseballs live. It would make me too angry. Also, it would be hard to hear them because they’d be using hairdryers instead of microphones like a bunch of morons.

  • That’s how pro’s do it. When you think about it, it’s a very clever way of covering up how bad you are at singing. A hairdryer is so loud people won’t be able to hear when you scuff a note or all of them.

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