Train – California 37
Album Review by Claudia Boisvert
After their last three giant hits, “Marry Me”, “If It’s Love” and “Hey, Soul Sister”, we expected a lot to come from California’s music group Train. However, the alternative rock band didn’t want to rush their sixth album, leading to a big 3 years of writing. Kind of a long time, yet they still remains on the radio with their previous singles! We were all waiting for them to release their final product, and this happened more than a month ago, on April 13th. Since then, California 37 peaked to a great 4th place on the US Billboard 200 and became their highest-charting record, which is not surprising with their sudden burst of popularity.
There’s no big “Omg, what?!” while you listen to this record, because Train’s usual style remains the same. The trio composed of Patrick Monahan (vocals), Jimmy Stafford (guitar & vocals) and Scott Underwood (drums & percussion) offers a recognizable sound yet, because this sound is usually quite changing, just compare their previous “Breakfast In Bed” to “Hey, Soul Sister”, both being on the same record, we cannot exactly categorize it. Mixing various styles, variations, beats, tones, they make every piece quite unique. All I know is, you’ll never fall asleep with those guys, they’ve got so much energy, and their songs, even their quiet ones are always full of life!
The adventure starts off with “This’ll Be My Year”, a normal but great song that quickly gets us into the atmosphere of the record. Using this eternal love history that usually stays around Train, it’s also originally resuming some important events of the past years. This beat is catchy, but it’s nothing compared to the next one, the already very popular single “Drive By”. My sister having already blasted this song in the house so many times before I even listened to the album, I could be nothing but really into it. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite one, way ahead the calmer pieces such as “Feels Good At First” or “You Can Finally Meet My Mom.”
Then there are lighter songs like “Sing Together”, an acoustic ballad, and “Bruises”. Now, don’t ask me why, but “Bruises” makes me really think of one of those Tangled (you know, the Disney movie) soundtracks. Guitar, lifting beat, and a beautiful duet with Ashley Monro.. This song stands out a lot. Next we have “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”, a swinging piece that makes me wanna jump and dance everywhere. “Californa 37,” the one giving its name to the record, has an heavier pop rock beat, quite different from the previous one, but they both have this little something addicting. “Mermaid” is as catchy, and it brings an exotic touch very interesting.
Totally contrasting with the last songs, “We Were Made For This” stars with this slow electric guitar then accelerate to a normal speed, still making us wait for something more. Then it comes, a sweet explosion of various sounds by the end, with way more drums then we are used to, leading on to a nice guitar solo. Sadly, this “explosion” isn’t very long, and after a slow ending the final song comes on, “When The Fog Rolls In.” However, you can get “To Be Loved” as a bonus track. Both are good, but none really have the potential of being the last song, of being exceptional.
In all, it would be very difficult to be deceived by Train’s new album, because everything here is really great.