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26 May - 01 June , 2012
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California 37
Train
American pop rockers Train have maintained an impressive career, albeit one that appeared to be propped up by their omnipresent album of 2001, Drops Of Jupiter. But the surprise runaway success of Hey, Soul Sister in 2009 and 2010 changed that, and the group is evidently reinvigorated, with sixth studio LP California 37 seeing them bravely playing with brand new territory. Sadly, it doesn't fully pay off. Opening track This'll Be My Year becomes the aural equivalent of feigning interest at someone's extensive holiday snaps, an overly literal journey through Train's career thus far, rhymes about world news stories. Thankfully, the tone changes pretty drastically with lead single Drive By, quite the departure with its speedy strum and vigourous bounce, a theme carried through to Mermaid and 50 Ways To Say Goodbye, both of which armed to the hilt with hefty hooks and mighty pop choruses. As effective as these mammoth candyfloss choruses are, it doesn't quite feel like the output of a US rock act on their sixth album. It's the more subdued offerings where the band excels: the sun-flecked ditty Sing Together is the paradigm of Train, but even the more atypical voyages within the ballad field prove successful. The laid-bare sentiment and shivering military beat of We Were Made For This are made all the more commanding when the track explodes into a screeching ocean of riffs. Train's happy indifference is hard not to appreciate. It's an album of innocent excitement, showcasing Train's wholly unpretentious approach and an evident passion for what they do.

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