Album Review: Train – a girl a bottle a boat

By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Columbia; 2017]
Rating: 7/10

Key Tracks: “Drink Up,” “Working Girl,” “What Good is Saturday”

After their disastrous cover of Led Zeppelin II, it seems that Train has gone back to making their signature sugary pop sound that they have been famous for. a girl a bottle a boat brings optimism and catchy lyrics for an overall fun album.

Even though it was released in January, the whole album feels light and summery, especially with the tracks “Drink Up” and “Lost and Found.” They both feature bright background music and lighthearted vocals. They both focus on staying in the moment and creating memories, all set to an upbeat background track.

“Play That Song” is the tune you have been hearing on the radio, the one that is a spitting image of “Heart and Soul”. It’s hard to listen to over and over again because the lyrics and melody are so repetitive. Still, it’s not shocking that this is the single that became a radio hit so quickly, because it is catchy, and the music behind it sounds comfortable and familiar.

Everything that follows these tracks is a mixed bag, trying on different styles to attempt to compile a unique album. The biggest problems are in the lyrics, relying heavily on clichés, like “every time you’re here with me / it’s like I won the lottery” from “Lottery”. “Valentine” is done entirely in the style of a doo-wop a capella piece, and is not unique enough to stand out from other music in the genre. There are some risks taken, like in “Silver Dollar” that has a great brass section and a hip-hop beat. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a nice change from the constant pop feel.

The best track on the album is “Working Girl.” The background is awesome, the lyrics are great, and it’s about being supportive of working women and the sacrifices they make. It also is very catchy. The album ends with “You Better Believe,” a beautiful and fitting finale for this album. It carries the optimism of becoming better people and coming together.

If you like Train, you will like this album. Some people don’t like Train, and never will. It’s fine. This album is probably not going to sway you. However, it’s still worth a listen for anyone from a casual Train fan to anyone who shamelessly knows all the lyrics to “Hey Soul Sister.”

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