The Deal: Train frontman releases solo album.
The Good: Monahan does a good job at delivering an album different than those of Train. Despite "Her Eyes," the album's first single, and "Two Ways To Say Goodbye," which might be the album's next single, this is where the Train-like resemblances to hits such as "Meet Virginia" and "Drops of Jupiter" stops. Last of Seven begins with a short introduction, "Last of Seven," which reflects Monahan's place in his family (the sleeve notes even have family photos!). The album features a heavy dosage of hopeful songs. There are gospel choir backup singers on tracks like "Someday," "Raise Your Hands," "Ripple In The Water" and briefly on "Shine" and "Girlfriend." "Pirate On The Run" is a duet between Monahan and Brandi Carlile – clearly a distinguishing track on the album that has a bit of a folksy feel to it. There is also "Ooh My My," a track consisting of soulful intense rock fused with a touch of anger.
The Bad: If you're expecting a Train-like album, then look away. The album features the same Monahan and his unique vocals, but musically went a completely separate route from Train. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Rob Thomas did the same when he broke away from Matchbox Twenty. However, Last of Seven does seem to be lacking a little bit of something. It takes quite a few listens before some of the tracks start to stick out.
The Verdict: A little flat when compared to Train, but when viewed apart from the group Monahan does display a more intimate and ardent album. Monahan will perform at Amos' Southend on Nov. 7.