Friday, January 27, 2017

CD Review: Train - A Girl A Bottle A Boat

Train have just released their latest album a girl a bottle a boat. This summer will they will be on the road in support of that album. O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield will be the opening acts. So before you decide to take in a Train concert at a stage near you, is the album one that you can sing along with? Is a girl a bottle a boat worth the price of admission? Let’s spin the disc and find out.

A girl a bottle a boat is definitely a change in style from earlier Train albums, but more in line with the direction they have gone over the last few years. This record is certainly more “Sweet Soul Sister” and less “Drops Of Jupiter.” It is a pop heavy album with a lot of synth that keeps a solid beat, has toes tapping, and will find people singing along. Ultimately that is what a fun record should do, and Train has hit the mark. This is the first Train album without founding member and lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford, which puts more pressure on the rest of the band to fill in the blanks of his absence, but the band was clearly up for the challenge.

The record opens with a fun synth/pop song “Drink Up.” It’s a dance worthy track that would force people to jump around on the floor at the mere listen. It was certainly not what I was expecting when I first played the record, but it was a pleasant surprise. Electro, techno, funk with a sing along chorus molds “Drink Up” into a fun song that would create a sing along at the party. The lyrics are solid, the melody is enjoyable, and the tune is a potential hit. It’s a great opening track for the record.

Lead single “Play That Song” is an exceptional number and one that received multiple plays during the course of this review. I have been enjoying this song since it was first released as a single this past fall and it has just gotten better over time. It’s a catchy, sing-along song that gets deep in your head and doesn’t release. Quite possibly the best song on the album, “Play That Song” is an astounding, fun track of great music.

“Loverman” is one of the greatest tracks on a girl a bottle a boat. It is short and sweet but packs quite a punch. Priscilla Renea sings vocals along with Pat Monahan and she is what puts this song over the top. Her voice is the perfect companion to Monahan’s and together the two vocals make “Loverman” an amazing tune. Priscilla opens the song with the acapella chant of “All night long, I wait for my Loverman…” This is followed by Monahan starting his verse acapella and then an acoustic guitar slips into the background shortly before the whole band kicks in by the middle of the first verse. It is a well-structured, well-crafted song that is guaranteed to be a future hit for Train.

“You Better Believe” is a return to the classic Train sound that made me fall in love with the band when they first arrived on the scene. The song opens with a mellow piano riff and Pat Monahan singing a lovely ballad, showing off his voice which still sounds great after all of these years. “You Better Believe” is a song of hope and faith and optimism toward the future. It is a number that builds slowly as it progresses and ends with intensity. “You Better Believe” will sound amazing in concert and I hope that it is on the setlist this summer.

Overall a girl a bottle a boat is a grand record worthy of your time. You can get the album on ITunes, Amazon, or wherever albums are sold. Be sure to check it out and get yourself prepared to sing along with everyone else this summer.  

Ryo’s Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Drink Up
Play That Song
The News
Working Girl
Silver Dollar
What Good Is Saturday
Lost And Found
You Better Believe

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