Radio-ready, professional and utterly dull, Train are a roots-rock band only a corporate accountant could love. Their musical influences sound fifth-hand -- distilled Matchbox Twenty, Black Crowes and Deep Blue Something -- and singer Pat Monahan seems like he's boring even himself. The band is surrounded by classy people such as producer Brendan O'Brien, who has made much better records with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine. (Unfortunately, his résumé also includes Train's double-platinum Drops of Jupiter.) The up-tempo songs are worse than the ballads, and the attempts at lyrical sass are even worse than the sentimental cliches. The pop-culture references to Patrick Swayze and Courtney Love (which rhyme with "lazy" and "of," respectively), fall flat, like the guy in the next cubicle who's still saying "Talk to the hand," for some reason.
(RS 925, June 26, 2003)
(Posted: Jun 2, 2003)