This train journey takes us to plenty of stops. It’s starts particularly well but the destinations get less and less favourable as the journey goes on. Let’s start at the beginning and sadly, the best stops come first!
Train released their eponymous debut album in 1998. It’s got a countryish vibe and includes beautiful songs such as Blind, I Am and Rat as well as hit song Meet Virginia (Well, it made number 20 in the US charts!).
The band’s second album was titled as per the song that earned the band worldwide recognition. Drops of Jupiter is a great song but a number of other titles on the record shouldn’t be forgotten. She’s on Fire, I Wish You Would, Helpless, Let’s Roll and Respect are high quality songs in their own right. Launched forward by the sound of the hit single, the album reached the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic.
Next came My Private Nation. Singles Calling All Angels and When I Look to the Sky were anthem like hits, to some extent at least. It’s another solid album with a number of decent songs. As well as Get to Me, I particularly like Lincoln Avenue and I’m About to Come Alive. They appear later on the album and are a little understated.
Next came For Me It’s You, which again, is punctuated by a few good songs (Cab and Shelter Me being the standouts) but unlike its predecessors, the really good songs start to be few and far between. It’s still worth a listen and a perfectly respectable album.
From there, things start to rapidly go down hill, in, agonisingly aptly, a train wreck sort of way!
From a country fused indie vibe through to soft rock pop, we now head into out and out pop before stopping at the ultra cheesy pop stop and finally falling out of love with Train!
Save Me San Francisco features a decent song in the form of If It’s Love as well as repeated radio hits Hey Soul Sister and the album’s title track. It’s not horrendously bad but the tide has well and truly turned and the music seems to be being made specifically for a market and less for the soul. Hey Soul Sister!
Follow up Drive By features a couple of respectable songs (Bruises and 50 Ways to Say Goodbye) but we really have reached ‘A couple of singles then album fillers stage’.
As for the next three releases, Bulletproof Picasso, Christmas in Tahoe and Train does Led Zeppelin II, I’m not qualified to offer an opinion, because, you know… I haven’t actually listened to them!
By the time we get to A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat, I’m longing for the days of the first few albums. Still, if you’re going to give an album such an appallingly bad name then you may as well fill it with appallingly bad songs!
Frontman Pat Monahan’s solo album, titled Last of Seven, released somewhere in the middle of Train’s journey, was a high quality album featuring some really good songs, Always Midnight being one as well as Great Escape, Ripple in the Water and Two Ways to Say Goodbye.
Whether or not Monahan has released anything else or Train intend to create any more music is of little interest to me. I’ll listen to the first four (Particularly the first two) albums often enough but unless Train are going to return to their roots then their music will likely only disappoint me… and that’s a shame after such a beautiful start!
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