Tuesday, 17 April 2012

California 37 by Train

Review by George Neame

Copyright 2012, Columbia Records
Formed in San Francisco in 1994, Train have received widespread praise from critics from day one. However it was only really with 2009’s single ‘Hey Soul Sister’ that the band gained significant commercial success, particularly in the UK. ‘California 37’ begins with slightly tiresome opener ‘This’ll Be My Year’, which features the catchy guitar and drum beats of a huge rock epic reminiscent of the band Journey, name-dropped at the beginning of each chorus. Despite this, the verses are dull and the lyrics weak and boring. Picking up the pace a little, lead single ‘Drive By’ shows much more passion and originality, moving swiftly from acoustic strum to pop-rock chant with ease and confidence. The rest of the album is a similar story of hit-and-miss tunes, some unique and memorable, others sounding a little like Train were beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel when recording to make the album complete. One song that does show what Train can do when they put their mind to it though is ‘Bruises’, a duet with upcoming female pop star Ashley Monroe. A harmonious melody is topped by a tuneful mixture of male and female vocals to create a song that sounds a little like classic country or Americana. Overall though, ‘California 37’ seems quite haphazardly put together and is just a little to ordinary, not advancing into much new territory, even though some songs are definitely worth a listen.

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