I’m a pretty positive person, so even if I’m not a fan of a certain genre of music I’ll still try to find some noteworthy qualities that I can praise. If I really hate something, and I really don’t hate any music, I’ll at least be able to point out the flaws. But those albums that are so bland they elicit no emotion from me, those are the ones that are hard to write about. Unfortunately, Train’s new album A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat left me feeling indifferent, if not slightly confused.
There is nothing memorable about this album, not even a single song that you can say, “Well at least I like this one.” And there’s no fluidity to it either, jumping from R&B to reggae to doo wop. The opening song “Drink Up” is pretty unremarkable and actually reminded me of “Cake by the Ocean,” with its synthetic bass line. “Play that Song” uses a sample of the melody from “Heart and Soul” that just doesn’t fit right with the lyrics. The album is full of unremarkable songs like “Working Girl” and “The News,” once you hear them you don’t really need to go back for a second listen.
Priscilla Renea is featured in “Loverman,” an unoriginal love song with subpar lyrics. “Valentine” is doo wop meets pop, and was one of the few songs that I liked. But even if the song was okay, it’s not one that I’m going to remember after listening to the album. And that can be said about most of the songs here. The final song, “You Better Believe” is an alright piano ballad, and is probably the best way they could have ended the album. The whole album has such a weird array of styles, the tone was just everywhere, and none of the songs really connected to me. If you really want to listen to a Train album, just listen to Drops of Jupiter, where there is at least one song you’ll like.