They may have lost a few members, but Train are back with a bang. After a 4 year hiatus to work through personal issues and focus on solo projects, the now-trio have returned with what looks to be the band’s best album to date, “Save Me, San Francisco”. For those of you new to Train, they’ve been compared with bands such as Maroon 5 and The Script. They produce mostly upbeat, happy songs and sometimes emotion filled pop/rock ballads.
This is their 5th album and they returned to their roots, both musically and culturally, to make it. Lead singer and song writer, Pat Monahan, describes “the goal with this record was to get back to our San Francisco vibe that we had when we made our first album. I think we’re happier than we’ve ever been, we’re more excited than we’ve ever been, and with that I think we’re all feeling a lot more at home.” The album follows a love story with a playful start in the first single, “Hey, Soul Sister”, heartbreak in the lyrics of “This Ain’t Goodbye”, and even a marriage proposal in the hopeful “Marry Me”.
“Hey, Soul Sister” opens with nothing more than some simple chords on the ukulele, and then a toe-tapping drum beat comes in to accompany the cheerful lyrics. This song is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. It’s also full of 80’s pop-culture references such as Mr. Mister and Love Connection. Younger listeners might not get the references, but the song is bounded to be enjoyed by all ages.
Something else that might pass younger listeners by is the fact that the best parts of “I Got You” are sampled from The Doobie Brothers “Black Water”. It works in Train’s favour though; add in with some bass and a little drumming and it creates a light-hearted song perfect for driving to.
There is also a live version of their 2001 hit “Drops of Jupiter”. The song was written as a tribute to frontman Monahan’s late mother, who had died of cancer. It’s the band’s most well-known song, and even won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
Train seem to have come back strong after their last album, “For Me, It’s You”, was less than successful. This time the band has taken time to create music from their hearts rather than trying to write a song purely to get to number 1. A well put together album that fans new and old are bound to love.