I don’t often review albums but thought I would give this one a review since Train has been such a big part of my listening history the past few years. (In my Top 20 artists for each of the last five years)
Train recently released a girl a bottle a boat, it is their first since 2014’s Bulletproof Picasso. (which may be the last album I reviewed) It was the song Play That Song, that prompted me to see if there was a new album out.
It turns out there is. I have to say that I ran through the album several times already while working just to see which tracks jumped out at me. Play That Song is clearly the best choice for first release as it has a great beat, great chorus, good hooks and classic Train sound.
Here are the rest of the tracks and my take:
Drink Up – Not being a drinker, this one doesn’t really do it for me. It’s got a pop beat so it may be the next release. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks this song was written to encourage drinking so that bars and clubs would give it a lot of airplay. Train wins – the bar wins.
The News – Hmm… it’s okay.
Lottery – I get the idea behind it and it certainly feels cutesy like I am accustomed to with Train, but meh. Which probably means it will be one of those songs like Hey Soul Sister, that you end up singing along to whether you want to or not.
Working Girl – It has a good hook and it will find an audience. It seems a bit too forced though – like they had a meeting and discussed demographics they needed to reach. “You ain’t sweet like aspartame.” has to be my favorite line from the album though.
Silver Dollar – This track has my favorite hook phrase, “two quarters, a dime and silver dollar… make me wanna call her… make me wanna follow her to the end of the line…” It is one of those tracks that you will find yourself singing along to even before you pay any attention to the rest of the lyrics. Train does such a good job at writing choruses that force you to sing along.
Valentine – A 50s throwback track. It is a good love song that I doubt they will release as a single. Who knows though – maybe pop will turn to 50s this year… they did a bunch of folk song throwbacks over the last couple years.
What Good is Saturday? – I like the feel of the song, and once again, it is a cute little sad love track.
Loverman – To hear Priscilla Renea start off the song catches you a bit off-guard as Train normally means Pat Monahan belting out some cute lyrics in a slightly whiny voice. Rest assured though, he joins in and it makes a nice shift from the rest of the songs. Good stuff.
Lost and Found – This just sounds like a Train song you hear in the background. You know it is Train, but you don’t really listen to see which one it is. I’m not saying its bad – I’m saying that it sort of gets lost among some of the other songs. I am guessing that like a lot of their tracks on previous albums, I will come to appreciate this one only after hearing it during an extended Train listening session a year down the road – when it will click.
You Better Believe – This one has the most heart. I hope this one gets released as a single because it is a positive, upbeat track with a hint of melancholy. It tells a great story of a father reassuring his child that things are going to be okay. Good stuff.
This is an album that will delight die hard fans with the cheesy/corny tracks. In the end, Train is going to make a ton of money off their fan base with this one. Will it create a bunch of new fans? Not likely. It will get quite a bit of radio play with one or two tracks and just add to the host of songs they play for happy concert goers.
by Chris Doelle
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