Written by Allison Lips
Bulletproof Picasso is definitely a Train album. The band’s fans will love it. Everyone else will sing along to the singles when they come on the radio. There’s no unexplored territory. The entire album is an obvious attempt to gain more radio play.
The biggest surprise on Bulletproof Picasso is that all the lyrics make sense. There’s no “Drop of Jupiter” or “Hey, Soul Sister,” both songs that were ubiquitous when they came out, but no one had any idea what the lyrics meant. Instead, Train produced an album that has a song about a man is interested in a women who ignores him (“Cadillac, Cadillac”), a man who would give up the privilege that comes with being a man in order to be with someone (“Give It All”), a song where a parent tells his children not to grow up so fast (“Don’t Grow Up So Fast”), and has nine other songs conspicuously absent of word salad lyrics.
While Bulletproof Picasso has plenty of unique Train flair, “I Will Remember,” “Just a Memory,” and “Angel In Blue Jeans” sounds like every other band on the radio, which is probably more a result of Imagine Dragons and American Authors sounding a lot like Train than Train copying what’s popular. Train also has this problem with Maroon 5. “Cadillac, Cadillac” and “The Bridge” wouldn’t sound out of place on “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.”
Since Train tends to be a singles band, “Bulletproof Picasso,” “Son of a Prison Guard,” and “I’m Drinkin’ Tonight” stand the best chance of doing well on the radio. “Bulletproof Picasso” will resonate with high school-ers who fancy themselves rebels, but secretly listen to their dads music. Also, lyrics don’t get much better than “If only the good die young, we’ll outlast everyone.” “Son of a Prison Guard” is catchy and unique without being off-putting. It’s everything expected from a Train song. As for “I’m Drinkin’ Tonight,” I wouldn’t be surprised if a country version of the song is released. The song is about a guy giving up sobriety because a girl drove him to drink.
The worst songs on the album are “Wonder What You’re Doing for the Rest of Your Life” and “Baby, Happy Birthday.” The former sounds like an annoying John Mayer song, while the latter sounds like it belongs on a previous Train album, which is a disappointment from a band that always keeps you guessing.
Bulletproof Picasso is obviously Train’s attempt to be cool, which the band has felt it’s never been. Pat Monahan and company still aren’t cool. They never will be. However, that’s the reason everyone loves the band’s songs.