If you don’t know the name Train already, you soon will, as the American three piece release their new album ‘Save Me, San Francisco’, which comes hot on the heels of UK radio favourite ‘Hey Soul Sister’. Instead of our usual review, we have something a little bit different this time, two reviews for the price of one! So read on to find out what I, and Train themselves, had to say about their new album!
Save Me, San Francisco
• Train: Funny but it was written in NY City reflecting on the bands life in San Francisco. It’s our thanks while honoring the city that gave Train life.
• Music.co.uk: A quirky track, with jazzy keyboard arrangements, and a slight hint of country in the vibe too. There’s a definite hook in the lyrics of the chorus, soaring backing vocals, and a cool live sound.
Hey Soul Sister
• Train: this one was written about a San Francisco event that actually takes part in the desert in Nevada. It’s called Burning Man. I’ve never been, but I pictured women of every shape, color and size dancing and expressing their love of life and self around a world wide bonfire. Maybe I should actually go. The ukulele gave the song life and happiness.
• Music.co.uk: This is one of my favourites on the album, with a nice sentiment, and melody, strong hooks, and vocals, and rhythmic guitars high in the mix. Easy to listen to, and I can see why it’s a popular feature on radio playlists.
I Got You
• Train: The Doobie Brothers definitely gave this song a path with ‘Old Black Water’, but our song Meet Virginia was the original inspiration. A crowd favorite at shows for sure.
• Music.co.uk: Quite a chilled, reflective vibe to this song, with some funky guitar breaks, and a little bit of soul in the vocals.
• Train: this was the first song written for this album. Its tone is very “Train” in that it is filled with a big chorus of hope.
• Music.co.uk: This track stood out for me on the album. It’s very current, and I think if you’re a fan of Keane you will like this. There is depth to the storytelling, a nice acoustic guitar arrangement, and it soars and swirls in all the right places.
This Ain’t Goodbye
• Train: when I think about this song, which is a favorite of mine, I picture a young woman giving her graduation speech, looking at her past friends and loved ones and knowing that they must move on even if she isn’t sure where they’ll all be going. We all take side roads on the way to the love we’re meant to find.
• Music.co.uk: One of the weaker points in the album, as I found it quite hard to hear the lyrics. I think although it’s great when the piano/drums kick in, and the melody is quite moving, there’s something not quite right with the vocal arrangement.
If It’s Love
• Train: Lyrically, this is me at my most authentic. I feel like I finally put into words a love song to Train fans. We have each other and the rest is just whatever. And thanks!
• Music.co.uk: This for me was treading into ‘bubblegum’ territory as far as the lyrics were concerned. It’s catchy, and if this is their first attempt at a real love song, then there’s potential here. Just not as engaging as some of the other tracks on the CD.
You Already Know
• Train: Working on this song really took shape in London at Martin Terefe’s Studio while we were recording the album. Jimmy and Scott turned this into a much more rock approach that was perfect for the lyric.
• Music.co.uk: Interesting intro to this song, quite ethereal with it’s string arrangements, building into a slightly unexpected rock jam. There’s a bit of reverb in the guitars here, and a repetitive drum beat on a loop throughout the track. Possibly the albums proverbial dark horse!
• Train: This was written in San Francisco and was all about how painful words can be. This was a note to my children and anyone’s children in fact, maybe even to my inner child..hmm!.
• Music.co.uk: A mid-tempo track, with rousing music and vocals, a hint of gospel towards the end, and some interesting lyrics. Builds into a pretty strong song.
Brick By Brick
• Train: I remember looking out of a high rise in NYC and hearing this music, and knowing exactly what the music wanted to say. The bricks in the buildings around us were so overlooked and taken for granted. I had to write about relationships that also need rebuilding, like many cities.
• Music.co.uk: Another favourite on the album, with the production/mixing standing out for me. The symbolism in the lyrics makes for a strong hook as well.
Breakfast In Bed
• Train: As much as Parachute was the first song written for this album, BIB was written 5 years ago for another Train album, but we waited till now because it is a perfect fit for Save Me, San Francisco.
• Music.co.uk: Not quite sure what to make of this song. Although the title amused me, I didn’t really get the lyrics, and the ending was a little odd. It’s an unusual and haunting track, that goes a little bit industrial in places.
• Train: I’ve always believed in love at first sight. Why not? Well, this is the perfect song to prove it.
• Music.co.uk: Train show their romantic sides with this number. A simple, soft, and emotive track, with some nice keyboard parts. Acoustic numbers often expose acts musically and vocally, but no danger of that here. A great effort.
Drops Of Jupiter (Live)
• Music.co.uk: A bonus track on the album, which some people may remember singer Lee Mead covering. The lyrics play on some unusual comparisons and food references, though the novelty value of the track works quite well. Sounds like a pretty good live version, and you could hear the crowd singing along. It has an infectious quality to it, that some will find hard to resist.
Overall verdict: I was excited when I heard that I was being sent this CD to review, and after hearing ‘Hey Soul Sister’, my expectations were high. The CD didn’t deliver quite as much as I was expecting, it was perhaps a little too generic in places, and there is room for improvement on a few tracks. It did keep me listening from start to finish though, and there are some interesting nuggets of music and lyrics in some of the tracks. The band have an accessible sound for both radio and the live arena, it just needs a little extra sparkle.
‘Save Me, San Francisco’ is released on May 10th. For more information on the band visit www.trainline.com.