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Music Review: Pat Monahan – The Last Of Seven

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Over the course of four studio albums, Train has become nothing if not predictable. Listeners are going to get jangly guitars, mid-tempo beats, occasionally goofy lyrics, and a relatively pleasant overall experience. Their most recent albums have not been anything overly memorable, but they do manage to keep your foot tapping and your mouth humming along. On his first solo album, The Last of Seven, Train frontman Pat Monahan does his best to separate himself from the successful Train formula. He succeeds at times, but overall, this feels like something you have heard before.

If The Last of Seven were not branded as a solo album, most listeners would be inclined to think it was a new Train album. The first few tracks, including lead single “Her Eyes” bounce along nicely and bring to mind past Train songs such as “She’s On Fire” or “Get To Me”, but it’s not until the fourth track, “Someday”, with its backing gospel choir that Monahan starts to set his solo work apart from his band. “Ooh My My” is the kind of dirty blues-rock track that Monahan’s voice was made for. “Raise Your Hands” features both the aforementioned gospel choir, a synthesizer, and programmed beats that feel slightly out of place on the album, but aptly serve a purpose for Monahan in establishing that this is not a Train album.

As The Last of Seven moves along, Monahan keeps returning to the familiar Train sound, “Always Midnight” would have fit in nicely with the rest of the tracks on Drops of Jupiter, and while the album does not suffer, it doesn’t do a whole lot to make itself special. There is a nice duet with Brandi Carlisle, “Pirate On The Run”, that seems destined for chick flick soundtrack next summer, but there are few other tracks that will stick with you.

Taken as a whole, The Last Of Seven is slightly disappointing. While “Her Eyes”, “Ooh My My”, and “Pirate On The Run” feel like keepers, the rest of the album is at times boring and is planted firmly in the middle of the road. Last Of Seven is never flat out bad and the best songs do show the potential that lies within, but that vision is never fully realized and ultimately, I was left unmoved. 

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  • Janet

    Sorry, but I completely disagree.
    I think this album is perfect, simply PERFECT!

  • Alexis

    After reading this review, I was left with my mouth wide open. I am not necessarily a big Train fan… but I heard bits and pieces of this CD today and ended buying it. It’s wonderful. It’s more than I ever would have expected and in fact, I plan on taking some good listens to the Train albums now. If they are anything close to this… I am on board. I really enjoyed the Brandi Carlile duet too. Rock on PAT MONAHAN. This CD delivers!

  • Karen

    Uh, I don’t think we listened to the same CD. I think the CD is the best thing since the first Train CD. To each his own I guess. You also have every right to be wrong! 😉

  • Joe

    Yea, this CD is perfect. Perfectly lame!

  • Diane

    I completely disagree. This is a GREAT CD. Saw them at The Fillmore in San Francisco last night and they were awesome.

  • cyndi

    Saw him too last night at the Fillmore, SF
    CD is Trainy but Oh my my shows a groovy Pat and Thinkin bout you is cool. I dig the CD but prefer Train.

  • sherri

    Pat is one great singer and songwriter.His live performances are outstanding and this new solo CD is even better than TRAIN last CD.

  • ian

    i love this album. no one mentioned the song “Shine” that song is one of the best songs on the album. and also “two ways to say goodbye”, and “someday” with it’s catchy beat. overall, this album is around 8 out of 10.