For starters, this review will be based solely upon arrangements, performance, and production, and not the songs themselves. If I were to start reviewing the likes of Crazy in Love, Don’t Cha, and Hot ‘n’ Cold, I wouldn’t last five seconds before pulling out my hair, stuffing it into a blender with 50 Scotch Bonnet Chillies and a dog turd, and consuming the lot to ease the pain of listening to such appalling, brainless drivel.
So, that said, let’s get down to business.
As a self-confessed 50s nut (complete with oil-slick hairdo, when I can be bothered), I felt compelled to check this album out. For me, any song that has the Doo-Wop treatment becomes instantly worthy of a listen, and here is the proof. Anyone that can make the above songs sound like they weren’t written and performed by Satan and Posh Spice is worthy of applause, and The Baseballs go one step further in actually making the songs (dare I say it?) enjoyable.
The arrangements are fantastic throughout, and although the end result is slightly over-produced and crisp at times, the sound remains true to the style and instrumentation of the 50s (complete with double-bass and honky-tonk piano). I’m unsure whether the band members Sam, Digger, and Basti play their own instruments (info on the subject is non-existent), but what is clear is how well they can sing, and they do so with an obvious love of the style, and a real passion in their voices.
At times, The Baseballs go way beyond simply covering the songs, and, as is most evident on the originally melody-less Crazy in Love, tracks are re-written, transforming them into a catchy, sing-along ditties. On occasion, their ‘versions’ are so different, that they can only be recognised by their (dreadful) lyrics. Ironic and quirky covers aside, when provided with a melody to sink their teeth into (check out This Love and Hey There Delilah), the band really excel, and provide truly brilliant music.
It would be interesting, therefore, given their talent of making silk purses from sows’ ears, how The Baseballs would make ‘decent’ songs sound. If they were to do such a thing, I have no doubt they would lose a great deal of an audience who get a kick from the kitschy appeal these unlikely covers provide, and they would undoubtedly be less popular for it. Saying this, any 50s nuts would be all over it like the proverbial cheap suit. Question is, are there enough of us out there for them to do such a thing? My hunch is ‘no’, so let’s be prepared for their covers of Telephone and Boom Boom Pow.