Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

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Album Review: Train – Bulletproof Picasso

3 min read

American pop/rockers Train have been enjoying some more time in the sun over the last five years; after a three year hiatus from performing and recording, they returned in 2009 with chart smashing single Hey, Soul Sister and their first commercially successful album since 2003’s My Private Nation. Single after single, the chart success continued and in 2012 the group released their sixth album California 37 led by the hits Drive By and 50 Ways To Say Goodbye; the band were obviously well and truly back on their feet. The band relentlessly return now with their seventh effort, Bulletproof Picasso; the creative process began whilst they were touring California 37 and they state it’s been the hardest album to write compared to writing and recording their previous work.

Train-Bulletproof PicassoCadillac, Cadillac is a catchy reggae/pop infusion, the verse is easy to sing along with whilst you take in the punchy dynamic of the chorus; the title-track has a consistent drumbeat that drives it along the road of pop/rock, it has a steady but sure verse with a memorable keyboard part and a strong hook of ‘woah’s’ to bring that chorus home. Lead single Angel In Blue Jeans has a touch of folk to diversify the current pop vibe going on with the album, it’s not as showy as the previous tracks in terms of vocal dynamic and arrangement, take it or leave it as Train’s mainstream take on the current indie/alternative chart domination; Give It All is introduced as a piano driven ballad before the drum kicks in and gives it atmosphere. Wonder What You’re Doing for the Rest of Your Life is introduced by shared giggling between members of the band and guest vocalist Marsha Ambrosius, which adds to the fun and upbeat vibe the track gives off with its electric vocal line and simple instrumentation; we are literally walking and whistling down the hall before the effervescent Son of a Prison Guard kicks off.

A shaky start to Just A Memory, the ‘come back, come back’ line at the beginning is a little off putting, even when it’s repeated after the chorus; don’t let that one line stop you from enjoying the reminiscent love gone wrong pop number though. I’m Drinkin’ Tonight is your standard drinking to forget number, still top notch though; the stop start of the drums at the beginning of I Will Remember is a pretty cool addition to the track, it’s a feel good anthemic track about the binding of love. The Bridge is catchy the second it begins and the vocals are addictive to hear, another must hear from the album. Baby, Happy Birthday masterfully captures a conversation between a couple who are in need of reconciliation, the songwriting on this album has been commendable; Don’t Grow Up So Fast is the album’s stripped back number, the guitar is played beautifully and the strings provide a refreshing atmosphere we had not yet experienced with Bulletproof Picasso.

Bulletproof Picasso proves to be yet another solid release by Train, they’re more recent years of success have seen them earn their place again in the mainstream music market. The group said they were working on this album to be on a more personal note, and you definitely feel that connection with much of the lyrics on the album (particularly I Will Remember, The Bridge and Baby, Happy Birthday). For those of you who haven’t boarded the Train express there is still plenty of time to do so, Bulletproof Picasso isn’t likely to disappoint too easily.