My Private Nation
Unless you are profoundly deaf, or have spent the past few years on the Moon, you can’t have helped hearing “Drops of Jupiter,” the mega hit which propelled Train to Grammy-award-winning, multi-platinum-selling stardom.
My Private Nation is the band’s much anticipated follow-up record, and although technically their third release, the question is, has sudden fame and fortune influenced the band’s music since “Drops of Jupiter” became such a smash hit? Or, was it a one-off?
Well, the answer to both questions is, no. As the name suggests, Train are as efficient, reliable and dependable as a daily service from Grand Central Station, and similarly will get you from A to B without too much fuss or bother. With My Private Nation, the band has delivered a consistently strong and well-written album of blue-collar, all-American rock which shouldn’t have any trouble appealing to the masses who loved Drops of Jupiter.
With the same producer (Brendan O’Brien), the same songwriting approach and more or less the same band behind it, My Private Nation feels like a reproduction of what’s already come before. But is that such a bad thing? An album of experimental jazz was never on the agenda, and although quite a lot of people despise Train for what they represent, you can bet there’s a hell of a lot more people who love them for giving them the stadium rock anthems they want. I’m not going to criticize the band for that.
So, a by-now-familiar, blend of rousing rockers (“Calling All Angels”), epic ballads (“When I Look In Your Eyes”), mid-tempo pop-rock (“Lincoln Avenue”) and more epic ballads (“I’m About To Come Alive”) span the album’s 11 tracks, and Pat Monahan’s diverting lyrics — full of optimism and melancholy in equal measure — complete this quality package.
My Private Nation may be low on bold musical progression, but it’s high on feel-good choruses and radio hits. If you liked Train’s last album, you’ll like this, and that’s guaranteed.