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Critics' Choice
TRAIN'S ZEP SET: LISTEN AND BELIEVE
5/10/16

by Simon Glickman

I did not know that Crush Music's Train had done an album re-creation of Led Zeppelin II before I heard it, but I imagine that my uninformed response to the news would've been dismissive, in a rock-snob sort of way. 

I also did not know that I was listening to this album when my colleague put it on in the office. At first I thought he'd just decided to play Led Zeppelin II, which in my view is never a bad idea. Then I realized I was listening to cover versions, only they were amazingly on point and super-ballsy. This is not easy to achieve. But Train fucking kills it. The band sounds fittingly Jurassic in its attack, but it's the supple singing of Pat Monahan that blows you away.

We know that few singers can really nail the Zep thing these days with both accuracy and soul. Ann Wilson of Heart can, and ... well, now my list has two people on it. Of course, Train has been covering Zep onstage for 20 years now, and they've gotten rather good at it.

So much for snobbish dismissal, then. While we're at it, let's dispel the myth that this record is being "sold in Starbucks," which was a mean-spirited attempt by lazy hipsters to bash it as yuppie rock tourism. First off, the set's being sold everywhere starting on 6/3, including on vinyl. More importantly, 100% of proceeds from the set benefit the UC San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital.

So: Great material, played beautifully and with true rock intensity, available as a lovely vinyl LP or what you will, and benefiting a good cause. Any questions?

Train will be further shaming the doubters when they perform on Howard Stern on 6/1 and Kimmel on 6/10.

 

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