California 37 (CD) Train
American pop band Train struck it big with their 2009 single Hey, Soul Sister from their fifth album, Save Me, San Francisco. Now they're back, hoping to regain that success with their latest offering, California 37.
Opener This'll Be My Year highlights landmark dates in the songwriter's life. It's an attempt at autobiography, but doesn't quite succeed as a song.
Bruises is a more sentimental number. It features Ashley Monroe, who brings her country-vocals-with-a-twist to the song, making it one of the better ones on the album.
The CD is packed with pop-culture references, from Queen to Jimi Hendrix and, of course, Justin Bieber. We all love them, yes, but they are totally irrelevant to most of the lyrics.
In Mermaid, actor Johnny Depp makes an appearance in the lyrics, which refer to 'an island so remote only Johnny Depp has ever been to it before' - an obvious allusion to Depp's portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
California 37 has some good tunes and creative lyrics to recommend it, but there's no consistency across the 12 tracks. The biggest disappointment is that I'm sure they could've pulled off a much better set of songs.