My Private Nation is San Francisco-based rock band Train's third studio album, which was released June 3, 2003. The album was reissued February 8, 2005, as a CD+DVD dual disc set. The album is now certified Platinum in the US.
Four singles were released from this album. The first, "Calling All Angels," was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #19, and was a huge success on the Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts. Second single "When I Look to the Sky" also hit the Top 100 and was successful in Adult Top 40 and the Adult Contemporary chart as well. Third single "Get to Me" was also a successful song on the Adult Top 40 chart, and the album as a whole has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
My Private Nation received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on 6 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".Allmusic editor Thom Jurek praised the band's existential lyrics and producer Brendan O'Brien's contribution to the album, stating "O'Brien's gorgeous multi-layered production [...] chromatic shadings and the textures of contemporary psychedelia are rooted in the heart of an ambitious garage band [...] he gets the sound of how big Train actually is in a context that is as aurally beautiful musically as it is emotionally and lyrically poignant".Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker dubbed it Train's "finest effort yet", complimenting the band's "amusingly self-deprecating lyrics" and the songs' "surface attractiveness". Sean Daly of The Washington Post noted layers of "featherweight joy" and "Hallmark-deep, guitar-driven pop", and noted lead singer Pat Monahan's performance, "[he] throws his body into every lyric and sounds like a showoff cross between Live's Ed Kowalczyk and Journey's Steve Perry".E! Online commented that the band "sound[s] like a better Counting Crows (with a dreamier frontman) and less-challenging Wallflowers". Despite writing that "Pat Monahan's vocals can be a bit grating and Train's material sometimes strays into Black Crowes Lite range", Chicago Sun-Times writer Jeff Wisser called the album "a greatsounding collection of slight but irresistible little poprock confections", noting "a sure sense of songcraft and a well-honed pop sensibility" in the songwriting.
Q gave the album three out of five stars and stated "[Train] continues to adhere firmly to the rootsy rock of fellow travellers Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows, while their earnest musicianship and hard work will delight fans of that sort of thing". Jeff Puma of The Hartford Courant commended Train for their "sincere attempt at a positive message", but wrote "The effect, unfortunately, is schmaltz, and Train comes off as a poor man's Counting Crows".Rolling Stone writer Gavin Edwards called the band "radio-ready, professional and utterly dull", commenting that "The up-tempo songs are worse than the ballads, and the attempts at lyrical sass are even worse than the sentimental cliches". Glenn Gamboa of Newsday found the band's "sorta rock" style "painfully predictable" on most songs, but stated "The last three songs - the Oasis-ish 'Your [Every] Color', the '80s power-ballad throwback 'Lincoln Avenue' and the gorgeous 'I'm About to Come Alive' - finally fulfill the promise hinted at in the previous seven songs and most of the previous two albums, for that matter". Despite calling them "still essentially Matchbox Twenty Jr.", Los Angeles Times writer Steve Hochman commented that the band "expands its menu beyond vanilla, with some playfulness in words and music, and producer Brendan O'Brien helping bring some imagination to the arrangements".