Review: Train – “Save Me, San Francisco”
Honestly, I have been getting pretty weary of Train. A huge fan of their first couple records, I found their subsequent ones to be hit and miss. Their last one, 2006â€™s â€œFor Me, Itâ€™s Youâ€, was a real snoozefest â€“ more fun could be had watching CSPAN. Making matters even worse, in 2007 lead singer Pat Monahan put out a steaming pile with his solo effort, â€œLast of Sevenâ€ (reviewed here). After that, I reached the conclusion that Train was at the caboose of their career.
I was in no rush to hear their fifth album, â€œSave Me, San Franciscoâ€, especially after hearing the rather silly and annoying first single, â€œHey Soul Sisterâ€. But after a few more tracks in the album really picks up, sending you back in time to their early days. Train has finally stopped taking themselves so seriously and simply recorded a fun roots-rock record â€“ their specialty, and what most fans fell in love with in the beginning. Additionally, Pat Monahan sounds fantastic on this record â€“ he seems re-energized and has written melodies that allow him to showcase how great of a vocal talent he really is.
Train are full steam ahead on this one from the get-goâ€¦the record is short and sweet, but most of the songs are bright and playful, free of the over-production that dragged down their last couple of records. Fans of the first two albums are going to appreciate â€œSave Me, San Franciscoâ€ the most. Catchy songs abound, but the highlights include â€œParachuteâ€, â€œYou Already Knowâ€, and â€œBrick By Brickâ€.
With â€œSave Me, San Franciscoâ€, Train is finally â€˜back on trackâ€™: it is easily their best release since their masterpiece, â€œDrops of Jupiterâ€.