The Baseball Project: 3rd
True sports fan understand the uselessness, yet endless appeal of statistics. The Baseball Projectâ€™s driving orchestral rock opener spouts what must be construed as an ironic play from this baseball-loving bandâ€”R.E.M.â€™s Peter Buck and Mike Mills, R.E.M. sideman and The Minus 5 mainstay Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn and Zuzuâ€™s Petals Linda Pitmon. In fact, 3rd is quirky throughout in exploring Americaâ€™s favorite pastime and its characters. Thereâ€™s acid-taking pitcher Doc Ellis, Braves star Dale Murphy, homerun hero Hank Aaron, baseball cards, box scores, and of course, a rousing â€śTake Me Out to the Ballgame.â€ť Musically, one should expect nothing less than solid, jangly pop songs with edgy guitars, uplifting organ swells and compelling hooks. â€śMonument Parkâ€ť is a bit ballad-y, but otherwise this is a fun, seriously tongue-in-cheek affair.