Train : California 37

<img src="" alt="Train : California 37" /><br /> Train is a band that may not, under any circumstances, be discounted or disrespected. ...
Train : California 37
8.0 Columbia

Train : California 37 Train is a band that may not, under any circumstances, be discounted or disrespected.  California 37 is, in point of fact, another album that reinforces that hard-won reputation.  Patrick Monahan is equal parts unparalleled vocalist and brilliant lyricist, and you don’t need to know anything about Train’s previous work to glean that from their latest album.

Right from the start, the outfit hits you with a song that is an unmistakable product of their sound.  “This’ll Be My Year” sets a fantastic precedent for the rest of the album, which doesn’t fail to rise to the ever-higher standard the band sets for itself.

The fourth track on California 37 is a duet track, featuring Ashley Monroe.  The song, titled “Bruises”, is a further example of Monahan’s incomparable lyrical ingenuity.  Train continues their tradition of being one of the few bands on the planet that it’s entirely okay to laugh at.  Lines like “Can’t swim, so I took a boat to an island so remote that only Johnny Depp had been there before,” will crack you up, and cause you to wreck your vehicle if you’re not careful.  For best results, do not listen to this album for the first time while driving, especially if you find yourself particularly affected by Monahan’s particular brand of lyrical humor.

The title track itself is a fantastic song that showcases the band’s style beautifully, while maintaining originality and avoiding monotony.  It’s a track that will be stuck in your head almost immediately.  That the song is just a tad over two minutes long is a bit disappointing.  It could do with at least another minute or so of musical deliciousness.

“50 Ways To Say Goodbye” is every bit as catchy as the title track, calling on the nuances of flamenco and surf music (which is to say rolling minor chords on an acoustic guitar and staccato lo-end minor licks played on some kind of Fender through a clean amp).  Monahan’s soaring complex vocal melodies are a testament to his true virtuosity, and further solidify his place as one of the greatest front men in modern rock.

The only note-worthy negative is the slightly off-kilter re-occurring theme of death and heaven this album seems to evoke.  “You Can Finally Meet My Mom”, “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”, and “Sing Together” are all tracks that drop this not-so-subtle allusion on the listener.

MP3 Stream: “50 Ways To Say Goodbye

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