Train: California 37

Man, what a let down. I was really hoping that Save Me San Francisco wasn’t the end for the band, but I guess it was. Listening to this, it’s really hard to imagine that this same band wrote “Drops of Jupiter”, “Calling All Angels”, and “Cab”. For me, it’s a tough pill to swallow because I’ve been a huge fan of the band since their inception. But California 37, the band’s sixth studio album, really takes a shit (to put it bluntly) on the legacy that this band created for themselves, which is bad because I thought the same thing on the last album.

To start, I don’t like Patrick’s voice anymore. It’s almost completely lost the distinctness and sexiness that helped make the band so appealing to begin with and the rest of the band completely lost whatever edge they had. I mean, the fucking title track makes the band sound the Backstreet Boys. They all just went really poppy. They’re also trying to milk the shit out of the ukulele, which is becoming “the instrument” to play to prove you’re a cool and talented musician. Fucking pisses me off because all traces of good musicianship are lost with this album. It sounds like they tried desperately to recreate Save Me San Francisco but with all singles…and failed horribly. I honestly have questioned their sanity at this point. To go from those first four albums, to the last album with “Hey Soul Sister”, to THIS!

There’s no redeeming qualities to this at all and I can’t even hear the singles getting airplay. “Sing Together”, which I don’t think is a single, is the new “Uke” song and I think it’ll be everyone’s favorite because of the Uke. There’s just no songs on this record though, and that’s all that can really be said overall. These last two albums are telling me that Train have completely lost touch with their roots, sold out for mainstream success (it there are any of you wanting to argue that “Drops of Jupiter” got a lot of mainstream success, then you’d be correct, but at least the song was good, the album of same name was good, and they were able to keep writing good radio hits afterwards), and in turn, lost all songwriting abilities.

This is probably the biggest disappointment for me in 2012, but I guess I should’ve known. I was just hoping that Save Me San Francisco was just a speed bump. Guess not, because I DO NOT recommend this album in the slightest bit.

Anywho, take care guys

Luke Helker

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