Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Train – Hey Soul Sister

Probably the best screengrab we’ve had in a bit, so well done me…


Matt Cibula: The fucking nadir, from shitty pretentiously “unpretentious” lyrics to insufferable strummy badness. NB: I hate Mr. Mister too.

Alfred Soto: The soul sister here is Alicia Keys, whose “No One” is pilfered for chords and melody, and that’s the best part, much better than Patrick Monahan confusing his adenoids for his diaphragm (in his defense, he does rhyme “madonna” and “wanna”). This is like your grandma telling you she likes black people because she loves fried chicken.

Martin Skidmore: When I saw the title, I was sure this would be a white indie band, and it is. Actually I guess they are pretty much mainstream American AOR really. Anyway, this has quite cute ukulele strumming, over which Patrick Monahan sings in a decent white soulish style. The lyrics are annoyingly bad, but the rest of it would be a good single from a typical American Idol soft rock winner.

Ian Mathers: Train still has the same singer (I checked) but mostly this sounds like someone else; does anyone remember Creeper Lagoon? Is anyone sure they didn’t somehow merge with this band? The inventively awkward lyrics are kind of similar, but so is how the song kind of works anyway. If this becomes as world dominating as their earlier hits I’m sure I’ll grow to hate it, but if it stays small scale… it’s not too bad, really. And somewhere, Mister Mister is pretty pumped about this song.

Iain Mew: Obnoxious jangle and worse voice aside, there is something weirdly compelling about the way that this not only unnerringly hits every terrible, predictable mark (sister/mister and radio/stereo, “I don’t want to miss a (single) thing”, dramatic pause into “tonight”) but goes above and beyond. I mean, “my untrimmed chest”? Even in my lowest expectations, I didn’t see that coming. The result is that I never want to hear this again, but spent most of the first run through grinning, which is enough to avoid a zero.

Martin Kavka: Is it just the ukelele that makes me think that Pat Monahan saw dollar signs as soon as the idea of a slightly faster-paced version of Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” popped into his head? Is it just the ’80s pop-culture references that make me think that, as he goes about writing lyrics, he’s consciously aiming at the wallets of boomers who never learned to pirate music? Or is it just what I expect now from Train, the most calculating and empty of American bands, Nickelback’s not-so-distant cousin? Extra point for the line “my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest,” because it’s important to stand up against the violence that is manscaping. Won’t someone think about the poor chest hair, curled up alone on the floor like a junkie going cold turkey?

Al Shipley: Train is the most horrifying, embarrassing band that’s ever made more than one song I won’t turn off when it comes on the radio. I’d hoped to do a better job of resisting this one’s charms than I had with “Meet Virginia” and “Drops of Jupiter,” and the fact that this features the lyric “so gangster, I’m so thug” helps in that regard, but I am saddened to report I do not hate this.

15 Responses to “Train – Hey Soul Sister”

  1. Train are Owl City for the middle aged.

  2. “Hey soul sister
    Ain’t that Mr. Mister”

    Now THAT is a rhyme. Me and my friends busted out laughing the first time we heard it.

  3. Sometimes I think that Will’s picture choices are the best music criticism on this site. Dude freezes a frame like Thelma Schoonmaker.

  4. Ugh. I heard this. At least “Drops of Jupiter” is tuneful and has kind of hilarious lyrics.

  5. I thought “Hah, American MOR bands be trading off past non-glories” and, gosh, this has gone and charged up to No. 2 in Australia behind Rihanna and probably will dethrone her. WORST THING EVER.

    Except further down the chart, LIFEHOUSE have a new entry. Dear god, the 2000s WILL. NOT. DIE.

  6. I thought this couldn’t possibly be so bad. But then it was!

    (still quite like drops of jupiter tho)

  7. Matt OTM. This is even worse than “Young Forever”.

  8. Astonished this got popular.

  9. To be fair, that’s not really our fault.

  10. @MBI Mr.Mister is a band mostly known for their hit “Broken Wings”

  11. As a lurker to this site, I’m kind of curious how Jukeboxers feel about this song seeing as how it’s become one of the more ubiquitous pop songs of the year. Me, I reacted almost violently towards it a few months back, but my resistance has broken down entirely. The thing just sounds ridiculously good on a car radio.

  12. I meant to say, “I’m kind of curious how Jukeboxers feel about this song NOW, seeing as…” Have other people revised their thoughts on this?

  13. Wasn’t around then, but it was crap then and it’s still crap, even more so now that they’ve given him another likely-to-be-big single. I lump Train in with The Script and Michael Buble, kind of a midpoint as far as desperation to fill a radio niche.

  14. I missed grading this, but I’d have given it a [1] then and would now.

  15. I’d probably be more generous — a [3] or [4]. But nope, my opinion has not improved with time.