Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat – Album Review

Train has found a niche in the pop world.  They bring a fun, summer song feel to their albums and are firmly fitted in the Adult Contemporary world.  They have found their formula and they are sticking to it.  However, they are starting to show signs of a disease called BonJovitis.  What is BonJovitis?  Well here is the clinical definition:

BonJovitis – a disease caused by repeating the same song formula without ever changing anything other than the words. It causes dull, lifeless and completely uninspiring albums and puts your fans and listeners to sleep.  Ultimately the disease will cause your album sales to drop and fans to leave and search elsewhere for music.  (See Bon Jovi as a perfect example).

All their albums are starting to sound the same, but it isn’t as bad for me as how Bon Jovi does it.  If you are a regular reader of my site, you know Train holds a special place in my families heart.  That is the only reason they don’t have full blown BonJovitis in my eyes…YET!!!

All joking aside, Train has delivered another solid album.  I even think the album cover is actually quite beautiful.  It has the ocean, a beautiful girl, a boat and the American flag.  I don’t see a bottle though.

On the disappointing side, Train is no longer Train.  It is really a Pat Monahan solo band. He is the only original band member left.  Which makes me wonder why release this as a Train album.  As I said, it is a solid record, but it is not a Train record.  I am curious to know why the other members keep leaving the band.  Creative differences???  Is Pat the Donald Trump of the band???

Enough rambling. On to the music. The album is an uplifting happy album.  It makes you feel good and will be great listening to on the bands Summer tour.  The albums opens with “Drink Up” which was co-written by Pat with the great Butch Walker.  It is more about drinking up your memories than drinking up the alcohol, but either way, it starts off the album with a great pop song.

The next song, “Play that Song”, is based off the old classic song from 1938 “Heart and Soul”.  The song mixes the new with the old and makes such a happy song that you can’t help but sing along.

They go into the song “The News” which has turned into one of my favorites on the album. Pat sounds fantastic on the song and it is a little different sound then normal although not by much.  Then Train goes back to their norm with “Lottery”.  It is becoming classic Train, very uplifting and Pat’s perfect style of singing.  The song will get you moving for sure.

Train than delivers one of their more cheesy lyrical songs, “Working Girl”.

“If you ain’t sweet like Aspartame”

“I can love you like you never been
And keep you going just like Ritalin”

“If you want a back and forth thang
Go and get yourself a boomerang”

“They left you sick, I’m your medicine”

Come on…really???  Do you want to know the funny thing…it is an awesome song.  Pat is at his best on this song.  The first time I heard it, I cringed with those lyrics.  The more I listened, the more I loved it!!  Strange world!!

The next couple songs miss the mark for me, “Silver Dollar” and “Valentine”.  “Silver Dollar” was too much like other songs and I hate Valentine’s Day, so “Valentine” had no chance, plus it was awful.  Both song just missed the mark for me.

Train redeem themselves with “What Good is Saturday”.  Another uplifting, fun song.  Pure pop joy.  Pat’s voice is smooth and he changes up the vocals a little and it just works perfectly.

The song “Loverman” features Priscilla Renea.  She basically sings the same thing throughout, but she is the shining light on the song.  The chorus she sings is so catchy and memorable.  Great voice.

The next song up, “Lost and Found”, was the last song that I didn’t like. Another song I couldn’t connect with and therefore will be deleted from my library.  Dont’ fret, the albums ends great with the beautiful song “You Better Believe”.  Train seems to like to end their albums with a ballad and they hit it out of the park with this one.  It is a very moving song and a nice way to go out.

Track Listing:

  1. “Drink Up” – Keeper
  2. “Play That Song” – Keeper
  3. “The News” – Keeper
  4. “Lottery – Keeper
  5. “Working Girl” – Keeper
  6. “Silver Dollar – Delete
  7. “Valentine” – Delete
  8. “What Good Is Saturday” – Keeper
  9. “Loverman (feat. Priscilla Renea) – Keeper
  10. “Lost and Found” – Delete
  11. “You Better Believe” – Keeper

8 keepers out 11 songs – 73% (3.6 out 5 stars).  I can say it was a solid album for Train, but if it was a Pat solo album it would be a great album.  If you are in the mood for some fun songs that will brighten your day, this is the album for you.  If you are looking for something new and exciting that will take you in a different direction, this isn’t it.  They are keeping to the formula that works and hopefully they won’t catch the full blown BonJovitis, but sadly I think they will.

5 thoughts on “Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat – Album Review

  1. I think I can agree with you on your assessment of them as a band, it’s not quite the same as the old Train, but you still end up liking some of their songs because it still has that flicker of soul in there. Overall, what would you say is your favorite Train song of all time?

    Liked by 1 person

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