Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Train - California 37

Album: California 37
Artist: Train
Release: April 13, 2012

I was going to talk about California 37 for New Music Monday but I've been very busy being unemployed and I just didn't get around to it.  Turns out not working is a lot of work!  Regardless, let's just christen today New Music Wednesday and get on with it, shall we?  This album was released less than a month ago and I've only just had it a couple weeks so I'm still digesting it.  Given that, this is basically my first impression and I'm keeping my option to change my mind entirely in the future open.

Vocally, I think this record is better than Save Me, San Francisco.  Pat's voice is just settled in a better place here.  However, lyrically and even stylistically, I'm not sure I exactly follow where they were coming from. The whole thing starts with a catchy song called "This'll Be My Year".  I like this song, I do.  But (you knew that was coming, right?) I have to take issue with a lyric.  In one of the verses, he says "'92...Freddie dies but Queen is still..."  Okay, look, Freddie Mercury didn't die in 1992, he died in November, 1991.  My husband argues that he means that Queen carried on in 1992, but it isn't worded that way and it bugs the piss out of me.  I understand that this is nit picky and weird, but I can't help it.  It jumped out at me like a sore thumb the very first time I ever heard this song.

Next is "Drive By" which I'm sure you've heard by now.  It's a peppy little pop song, very catchy, but not anything earth shattering.  Apart from being quite cliche saying that he basically hit the road the morning after because he was "overwhelmed and frankly scared as hell", I like it.  Next is "Feels Good At First" about the how wonderful love is in the beginning of a relationship.  I really like the sound of this song, it's a good one to sing along to.  After that one though, they lose me for a few songs.

The next one, "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" is inexplicably Latin themed.  I guess I just don't understand why they went with a Latin feel on this song.  The lyrics and the feeling of the song don't really have anything to do with each other.  My problem really is that I really like this song, but at the same time I feel like I don't get it.  After that are "You Can Finally Meet My Mom" and "Sing Together" - two songs about death, neither of which inspire me to listen to them (the first one makes me cry, the second one is just meh).  After that is "Mermaid".  I think "Mermaid" is going to grow on me, it just hasn't yet.

The second half of the record works better for me than the first half.  I love "California 37", it was instantly my favorite song on the record.  I do have one issue with it though. (surprise, surprise, huh?)  Let me preface this by saying that, for all intents and purposes, I don't have an ex-anything floating around out there. No ex-husband, no baby daddy, no ex-boyfriend that amounts to anything, so I don't have the first clue what it's like to deal with a person in that role.  That being said, I question the wisdom of referring to the mother of your children as "the bitch" in a song.  I'm just not sure I'm down with that.  Otherwise, great song. 

The last three, "We Were Made For This", "When the Fog Rolls In", and "To Be Loved" chronicle three different stages of relationships.  The first, of course, is a perfect love affair.  The second is the dissolution of a relationship. The third is the forgiveness and friendship that could theoretically happen after a breakup.  I really like all three of them.  Pat's voice is suited to them perfectly, the music is spot on and the lyrics are natural and comfortable.  Overall, I like this record better than the last one (as it should be); I liked the second half right away and the first half is steadily growing on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment