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CD Reviews: Review of For Me, It's You by Train
Red Rocker Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com   Train: For Me, It's You (Sony BMG  2006)

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Ah, the next Train record is out. It’s called For Me, It’s You and it follows up their mega-selling My Private Nation in 2003 and the mega mega-selling Drops of Jupiter in 2001, which (rightfully) put them on the map. Sure, they have multiple #1 singles, a couple Grammys, and several million in album sales. They tour at will, many times to sellout crowds, whether opening for the likes of Sheryl Crow or headlining their own dates. The band’s lineup has evolved, adding some of the most qualified names in the business (bassist Johnny Colt, formerly of the Black Crowes, and keyboardist Brandon Bush, whose resume includes Shawn Mullins and John Mayer, among others). They are backed by industry goliath Sony Music, who likely paid more for Train’s latest photo shoot than 95% of most bands ever get to spend cutting an entire album. Producer Brendan O’Brien has been the Ron Howard of his craft for consecutive years now, turning out watershed ventures with Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, and Neil Young, just for starters.

And yet, when asked, most people either don’t know who they are or confess to not liking Train very much. Confused?

There is no mistaking these guys’ natural ability. Pat Monahan is model cute. His vocals are so syrupy sweet and easy on the eardrums that he could make the worst American Idol audition tape sound pleasing. They’ve written some of the better pure pop songs of the past ten years, including “Meet Virginia,” “Drops of Jupiter” and “Calling All Angels”. In concert, they have a knack for covering Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, at times coming off as vibrant and crystal clean as the originals. So, again, what is so damned difficult about calling yourself a fan of these guys?

There’s really nothing new to write about For Me, It’s You (goofy title from an even goofier band) that hasn’t already been written about past Train efforts. Monahan claims, “The ‘you’ changes in every song. In the title song, the ‘you’ is the woman I’m (currently) in love with. Throughout the record, the ‘you’ is my children or my dear friend who died this year, it’s my mother, it’s my family, it’s my band.” Aw, isn’t that tender? Can you see where these guys are so damned Ward Cleaver clean that it becomes impossible to embrace them? We pay good money to see Axl Rose the week after he shows up three hours late for a show and brings a 15,000-seat arena to riot. We raise our overpriced beers in the air and cheer when Eminem boasts of beating the shit out of his Mom. And I’m sorry, but when Monahan croons, “Everybody’s got something they want to sing about, laugh about, cry about, it’s true. For me, it’s you” the sound of unenthused sighs can be heard echoing from Hollywood to Galveston to Newport News.

Nothing can save Train from themselves. Even when they roll up the sleeves on their argyle sweaters and try to tackle a Bob Mould song (“If I Can’t Change Your Mind”), it comes off like a bunch of Debate Team geeks attempting to perform an oil change in auto mechanic’s shop class. Sure, there are enough jumpy toe-tapping moments within this new excursion to keep their families, dear friends, and mothers satisfied. “Cab” and “Am I Reaching You Now” are bound for radio, Skittles ads, or at very least the in-store PA system at Great Clips. Hell, the feisty “All I Hear” might even get the hair on your neck to stand, as they actually let Colt and the boys rip a little. Anyways…where did I put that Iggy and The Stooges compilation? 

~Red Rocker 




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