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8084: The Last Great Train

I admit that I missed 8084 back in its late-Eighties glory days, when the Vermont band was produced by the likes of Hirsh Gardner and Aldo Nova and courted by Virgin Records and CBS Records. But now I'll be seeking out the first three albums — or at least GB Music's So Far anthology — from this melodic, acoustic-driven AOR quartet.

Featuring songs composed by guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Randy Smith and guitarist André Maquera between 1999 and 2005, The Last Great Train, despite its Northeastern United States origins, sounds as though it was created in the core of America's heartland. You can practically see the cornfields and late-summer-afternoon storm clouds swirl past your rolled-down car windows when listening to jangly, harmony- and hook-filled songs like the airy opener "Breath," "Home," "Shopping List," "All That I Need" and the memorable title track. 8084 falters only when it tries to update its sound on "Come 2 Me" and "I Know" — easily the album's weakest songs. The disc wraps up with the Southern rock jam "Guitsophrenic" and the pop ditty "Thank You," which is really a clever kiss-off to an ex-lover. These songs are the voice of experienced musicians putting their own spin on subjects as universal as relationships and getting older.

The Last Great Train ain't metal and it ain't prog, and I don't care. The soundtrack of my windows-down summer in America's heartland has arrived.

Track Listing:
1) Breath
2) Alright
3) The Last Great Train
4) Shopping List
5) Sometimes
6) Without U
7) Home
8) Come 2 Me
9) I Know
10) When I Think Of You
11) All That I Need
12) Guitsophrenic
13) Thank You

Added: April 4th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: GB Music
Hits: 3291
Language: english

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