Back On Track
4 Out Of 5 Stars
"Save Me San Fransisco" was a somewhat prophetic title for Train. For many, the band had been written off, even the members themselves were in the throes of doubt. What's a band in trouble to do? Get back to their roots. The reward was one of the biggest singles of 2010, a million selling album, and a band that suddenly were everyone's golden boys.
"Save Me San Fransisco" is a journeyman's effort, filled with breezy melodies and a free spirited sound. They even lift a few lines of another San Fransisco band, The Doobie Brothers' "Black Water" to reference their home city one more time (on "I Got You"). In fact, pop cultrure references are all over the album: Winger, Madonna, Mr.Mister, the Fillmore, Sonny and Cher (yeah, check your cool-meter at the door, folks) that come off as catchy as they are corny. After all, if they can pull off the rhyme of "Hey Soul Sister, ain't that Mr Mister on the radio?" and get you to believe they mean it, then Train has got more going on than most bands who want you to take them ever so seriously.
Lead singer Pat Monahan delivers the goods vocally, too. He's just earnest enough to make "Marry Me" transcend its sappy wedding bells tale, yet can make the travelogue of the title track feel like both a confessional and a plea to Train's old fans to remember the band and the good times that the likes of "Drops Of Jupiter" did in the early 2000's. "Save Ne San Francisco" does that and more. It's not only a great return to form for Train, it's one of the better pop albums you're likely to hear from this decade.