Release Date: Apr 17, 2012
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, American Trad Rock
For an impeccably crafted pop-rock record, Train's sixth LP is surprisingly deranged. That's thanks to Pat Monahan's lyrics, an eccentric, grammatically dubious mix of confessions and score-settling. In one song, Monahan pledges that when he gets to heaven he'll hang with his wife and ignore the celebs (like "the dude who played the sheriff in Blazing Saddles").
Heading down the road from Save Me, San Francisco, Train take a journey on California 37, creating a pseudo-concept album about either the Golden State or Pat Monahan grappling with middle-aged crazies or perhaps a combination of the two. As always with Train, it's nigh on impossible to discern where sincerity ends and satire begins, or if the band even bothers to draw a distinction between the two extremes. When faced with a song like "You Can Finally Meet My Mom," where Monahan either mourns the death of his mother by declaring that he'd rather spend time in heaven with her, not Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, or "the dude that had Pop Rocks and soda,” or he's expressing elation that his beloved can, as the song claims, finally meet his mom in the afterlife, what is the appropriate reaction? On a certain level, Monahan means it, man, when he's tackling a big, universal issue, one that is indeed difficult to capture in a four-minute pop tune, but Train's tackiness envelops whatever trace of recognizable emotion lies within.
Album six sees the US pop-rockers toying with their formula… slightly. Al Fox 2012 American roots-pop rockers Train have maintained an impressive career, albeit one that appeared to be propped up by their omnipresent album of 2001, Drops of Jupiter. But the surprise runaway success of Hey, Soul Sister in 2009 and 2010 changed that, and the group is evidently reinvigorated, with sixth studio LP California 37 seeing them bravely playing with brand new territory.Sadly, it doesn’t fully pay off.
Pick your poison: the simp or the cad. Being held through the night or getting a high five on the way out the door. Warm and fuzzy or cold and brusque. Pretty lies or ugly truth. Jason Mraz, well, he would never hurt you. That’s been clear for years, but never more so than on his 2008 hit “I.