Bulletproof Picasso is the seventh studio album by American rock band Train. The album was released by Columbia Records in Friday-release countries on September 12, 2014, and in the United States on September 16, 2014. It is available on CD, vinyl and as a digital download. It is the band's first album without drummer and founding member Scott Underwood, who departed from the band before it was recorded. It is also the band's first album since 2006's For Me, It's You to feature a full band line up. The producers were Azeem, Espionage, Greg Kurstin, Jake Sinclair, Butch Walker and Whams.
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 12, 2014|
|Producer||Azeem, Espionage, Greg Kurstin, Jake Sinclair, Butch Walker, Whams|
|Singles from Bulletproof Picasso|
With Bulletproof Picasso, the band set out to achieve goals that would allow them to become a more mainstream band. Guitarist Jimmy Stafford explained that the band had never been "cool" and "hip", something he believed this album would make them, enabling them to feel justified in their desires to play at and sell out Madison Square Garden and even becoming musical guests on an episode of Saturday Night Live. Lead singer Pat Monahan also expressed an intent for a more personal, yet ambitious record, stating that "I've always wanted to emotionally connect with people through the songs, but I also want to get into people's lives with this album" and that he felt that he wanted to create "everything that [he'd] wanted to".
Lead singer Pat Monahan had started creating material for Train's seventh studio album during the band's Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour, in support of California 37. Monahan stated in a Radio.com interview during the latter stages of the tour, "I'm going to spend the whole fall tightening up what I started and creating everything that I've wanted to. San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Nashville will be the main places I'll write it". Monahan had also stated, in an interview with Jason Tanamor of Zoiks! Online, that due to the ambitions set for the new album, wanting to do their "best work", writing for Bulletproof Picasso was harder than what they had previously written and recorded. The production team on the album were the following: Azeem, Espionage, Greg Kurstin, Jake Sinclair, Butch Walker and Whams.
The title of the album, Bulletproof Picasso, while borrowing the name from the album's second track, also serves as a statement about the band's long-running career, representing the band's 20-year career as artists. The phrase Bulletproof Picasso is a reference to Spanish painter, poet and playwright Pablo Picasso, who, while in a different artistic medium to Train, who are musical artists, creates art nonetheless. The phrase means that the band, as artists, are bulletproof, and will continue as artists, dodging every bullet shot at them.
Bulletproof Picasso was formally unveiled by the band and Columbia Records on June 9, 2014, announced for a September 16, 2014 release date in the United States. "Angel in Blue Jeans" was the first track to be lifted from Bulletproof Picasso. The track was released as a single by Columbia Records on June 9, 2014, serving as the lead single from Bulletproof Picasso. Guitarist Jimmy Stafford originally tweeted a cryptic message on May 5, 2014, a month before the release of "Angel in Blue Jeans", concealing the title of the single in an anagram that read, "sgijannulaebenel". "Angel in Blue Jeans" was also released to Adult contemporary radio and Triple A radio for airplay on June 16.
The album cover and track listing of Bulletproof Picasso was unveiled on July 15, 2014, with preorders for the album on digital download and physical formats starting on the same day. "Angel in Blue Jeans", which appears as the third track on the album, was also released early on the iTunes Store ahead of the full release of Bulletproof Picasso when pre orders for the album started on the store. A music video to accompany the release of "Angel in Blue Jeans" was also released on July 15, coinciding with the commencement of preorders for Bulletproof Picasso. The video, which featured American actor Danny Trejo as his Robert Rodriguez character Machete and Canadian television hostess and actor Hannah Simone, was shot in the Mojave Desert and is staged as a Tarantino-style spaghetti western. It also stars lead singer Pat Monahan as the antagonist taking hostage of a woman, played by Simone, who acts as the love interest of Machete, played by Trejo. The video had fetched over a million views by August 1, 2014.
Train had made numerous performances and appearances on television and radio in the three-month lead up to the release of Bulletproof Picasso. The band had expressed their intent to let fans hear new material on tour before Bulletproof Picasso was released in September, with Jimmy Stafford stating that they were "too excited to not play any other songs off the record", with Stafford being motivated by his opinion that Bulletproof Picasso was the best album the band had ever made. Set lists staged for the band's pre-album performances included "Cadillac, Cadillac", "Bulletproof Picasso", "Angel in Blue Jeans" and "The Bridge"; the most new material the band had played on a single tour. The band, however, while keen to perform new songs, felt uncomfortable at the possibility of throwing off long-time fans during the "limbo period" between the releases of "Angel and Blue Jeans" and Bulletproof Picasso, where fans have not heard the new material. Stafford further explained, "You don't want to put a song no one has heard between "Hey, Soul Sister" and "Meet Virginia" because it feels like a lull in the show. So it's tricky".
The band's promotional media tour started with an appearance on Sirius XM Radio show The Howard Stern Show on June 9, 2014, coinciding with the album's unveiling. The band also premiered "Angel in Blue Jeans" on the show before the track was released as a single the same day. The band also appeared on 94.3 FM The Point on June 11 as part of a radio special entitled "Breakfast with Train", where the band invited fans to ask questions and spend breakfast with them. They performed on the Today Show on June 13, as part of the show's Toyota Summer Concert Series held at Rockefeller Center in New York City. On August 27, they performed at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City.
- Opening acts
- Tour dates
Writing for USA Today, Elysa Gardner says "The best tracks on Train's latest album are the driving and high-spirited ones, where Pat Monahan's sweet, keening tenor... evocative here of a Wings-era Paul McCartney... rides meaty but crisply percussive arrangements." Richard Bienstock for Billboard writes how "the Bay Area rock band buffed out the rootsier and rockier aspects of its sound for a more pop-centric approach" that's another "extension of its bid for mainstream glory."
The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart on its first week of release, selling 50,000 copies in the United States in its first week. As of June 2016, the album has sold 145,000 copies in the US. The album also debuted at No. 7 on the Canadian Albums chart.
The album art features a burning Cadillac (in reference to the album's single "Cadillac, Cadillac") with a licence plate that reads "PICASSO". This album art was cited among Billboard's worst album covers of 2014.
|1.||"Cadillac, Cadillac"||Pat Monahan, Al Anderson, Butch Walker||Walker, Jake Sinclair[a]||3:23|
|2.||"Bulletproof Picasso"||Monahan, Walker, Trent Mazur, Michael Freesh||Walker, Whams[a]||3:53|
|3.||"Angel in Blue Jeans"||Monahan, Espen Lind, Amund Bjørklund||Walker, Espionage, Sinclair[a], Ayb Asmar[a]||3:25|
|4.||"Give It All"||Monahan, Amir Salem||Azeem, Sinclair||3:44|
|5.||"Wonder What You're Doing for the Rest of Your Life" (featuring Marsha Ambrosius)||Monahan, Jerry Becker, Walker||Walker, Sinclair[a]||3:23|
|6.||"Son of a Prison Guard"||Monahan, Becker||Walker, Sinclair[a]||3:39|
|7.||"Just a Memory"||Monahan, Lind, Bjørklund, Naomi Neville||Espionage, Sinclair||3:48|
|8.||"I'm Drinkin' Tonight"||Monahan, Matraca Berg, Becker||Walker||3:35|
|9.||"I Will Remember"||Monahan, Walker||Walker||3:13|
|10.||"The Bridge"||Monahan, Greg Kurstin, Walker||Kurstin||4:29|
|11.||"Baby, Happy Birthday"||Monahan, Eg White||Walker, White[b]||3:43|
|12.||"Don't Grow Up So Fast"||Monahan, Tom Douglas||Walker||3:23|
|Live in San Francisco – bonus disc|
|1.||"Drive By"||Monahan, Lind, Bjørklund|
|2.||"Calling All Angels"||Monahan, Charlie Colin, Jimmy Stafford, Scott Underwood|
|3.||"Save Me, San Francisco"||Monahan, Sam Hollander, Dave Katz|
|4.||"Hey, Soul Sister"||Monahan, Lind, Bjørklund|
|5.||"Drops of Jupiter"||Monahan, Colin, Rob Hotchkiss, Stafford, Underwood|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||15|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||141|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||7|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||144|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||32|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||32|
|UK Albums (OCC)||9|
|US Billboard 200||5|
|US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)||20|
|Germany||September 12, 2014||Digital download||Columbia Records||none|
|France||September 15, 2014|
|United States||September 16, 2014|
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