on March 13, 2010
I think Train have really made a mark with this record, and it's probably their best since Drops of Jupiter - which has been very hard to top! This album overall has a catchy vibe and there's a few songs that really make me smile. It's quite a happy album, with a few slower songs here and there to even it out. This is for sure their comeback album!
Save Me, San Francisco: Awesome track! It has a slight country feel to it at first, but once the song starts to move along you find yourself tapping along and wondering when Train got so much groove. I love the "oh hell no!" part. 5/5
Hey, Soul Sister: Another toe-tapper... I just fell for this song when I first heard it. Something about the bongo sort of feel at the start, and then it just builds and you get into it. It's such a fun, happy song and always make me feel cheery! 5/5
I Got You: This track is in same sort of vibe as the previous two before it. Happy-clappy sort of music and easy to listen to. 4.5/5
Parachute: This track is a slight change than the other three before, more mellow and slowing down a little. It's a great song, more like the Train I'm used to hearing. I actually think of Daughtry when I hear it - not that that's a bad thing I guess. It has some really beautiful metaphors in the lyrics. 4.5/5
This Ain't Goodbye: This tracks slows it right down... and I LOVE this song. It's beautiful. Almost on a par with Drops of Jupiter. 5/5
If It's Love: Another catchy one; I like the fast-paced lyrics. 5/5
You Already Know: It takes a full minute for this song to get moving, so it drags a bit. But once you get past the start, it picks up and ends up being a pretty good track. 4/5
Words: This starts with Pat's vocals scratching into your ear and straining all desperate-like. It's nice. Very nice indeed. 5/5
Brick By Brick: A really nice slower track. It's quite a standard Train ballad, but that doesn't make any less good. It's not really ground-breaking material but it doesn't have to. If it's not broken, don't fix it. 4.5/5
Breakfast In Bed: This is a little different to the rest of the songs. It's more mellow, and has that indie feel with hushed vocals. It's not a favourite, but it's not bad. 4/5
Marry Me: This is a great way to wind down the record. A beautiful acoustic track, just Pat's voice and a guitar. I could see this becoming a 'first dance' song for weddings especially with the line: "Marry me today and every day." Sweet song. 5/5
on October 26, 2009
Train is back! This record really captures a great mix of their old sounds AND new styles. Songs like "Breakfast in Bed", "Marry Me" and "You Already Know" really give off the old 'Train' CD vibe and then those like "I Got You" and "Brick By Brick" show more of the 'My Private Nation' and 'For Me, It's You' sound. There are a few tracks that sound similar to Pat's solo record but that doesn't mean that those songs aren't memorable! Overall. I was very pleased listening to the new one and after a 3 year gap, this is a very redeemable disc that should put Train back on the map! 5 stars!
on October 28, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I love all of Train's albums. Maybe a few more than others. There were some great songs on the past two, My Private Nation and For Me It's You, but I felt like both albums were over-produced and lacked that unique sound that was so amazing on the first two albums. Their debut album and Drops of Jupiter had, for lack of a better term, a REAL feel. As if to say "Yeah, we're singing about this really deep stuff, but we're singing about it in a way you can really relate to." Save Me San Francisco returns us to that frame of reference. The songs are witty, sometimes fun and sometimes moving (and sometimes both), and Monahan's vocal performance is more incredible than ever. A few of my personal favorites are "Parachute", "This Ain't Goodbye", and "Marry Me". "I Got You" has a rockin mash-up of The Doobie Brothers' "Black Water". The first single, "Hey, Soul Sister" is more for the mainstream radio audience, but still enjoyable. Conclusion: True Train fans are going to be pleasantly surprised! I will be listening to this non-stop for the next few months.
on October 28, 2009
My initial impression is that "Save Me San Francisco" is a better CD than "For Me, It's You." There seems to be a more relaxed vibe to the songs, which is good. I read that the band wanted to get back to its roots, but I don't really hear that. I always thought that the first Train CD just had that recorded in the basement feel, something fresh and free. "Save Me" still has some of that slickness of the last two discs, but it's not trying for arena grandeur. The title track and "You Already Know" capture some of what Train used to be. The rest is good, but I don't think that I will be listening to it a lot a couple of months from now.
If only Rob Hotchkiss and Charlie Colin would come back. I think they would help sharpen the songwriting and flesh out the music. And help create that "thing" that made the first two Train CD's so memorable to me.
With their catchy melodies, sometimes profound lyrics, and Pat Monahan's rather unconventional voice, Train has, for some time, been one of my favorite bands--and one of the most underrated, in my opinion. When I heard about Monahan's solo album, I was afraid the band had dissolved, so, naturally, I was very happy to hear about this album.
What sets Train apart from many other bands is that their music sounds heartfelt and, as such, escapes from the dreadfully manufactured sound of so many modern bands. Their music covers the gamut from soulful ballads to engaging ditties.
Favorites include the following:
Hey, Soul Sister: I hear it a lot on the radio, so I'm apparently not alone in thinking that this is a very catchy tune. This song is what I like to think of as quintessential Train. Though the Hawaiian feel to it isn't entirely original these days, it contains the unique lyrics at which Train excels at writing. It's the sort of song that makes me want to dance every time I hear it, and one that only seems to get better each time I hear it.
Parachute: A sweeping romantic ballad, that invokes some very lovely imagery. This song exemplifies one of my favorite things about Train's music: their inventive use of language. I also can't resist the dramatic music and Monahan's equally dramatic vocals.
This Ain't Goodbye: This sad breakup song is the perfect vehicle for Monahan's plaintive voice.
Marry Me: Another great love song. How could any woman resist a line like "Marry me, today and every day/if I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe"? The stripped down sound of the acoustic guitar and Monahan's vocals make this a very personal song.
Train's music is wonderful in and of itself, but what really makes this band special for me is their writing. Their lyrics always sound thoughtful and soul-searching. I'm happy to add this excellent release to my collection of much-loved Train albums.
on February 12, 2015
I do not think that I would ever expect salvation of any kind from San Francisco (perhaps I am a bit biased), but this album did provide a salvation of sorts for the career of Train , after the disappointing sales of “For Me, It’s You,” and the solo album of Pat Monahan “Last Of Seven,” and a lengthy hiatus that was a near break-up. The massive success of the band’s first single “Hey, Soul Sister” and later singles propelled the album to hit status and allowed the band a second lease on life, which is rare in the world of music. So, in a roundabout way, this album, as a dual-layered cycle of love songs both to a person as well as to the San Francisco Bay area, did serve as a salvation of sorts to Train, in providing them with a rich and layered context for their music, as well as the opportunity for a continued period of professional success and the start of a second act of a worthy career. Now, for the song-by-song analysis:
Save Me, San Francisco: This song is a mid-tempo rock track that is an obvious ode to San Francisco, with witty lyrics and a compressed sort of power-pop sound. There are some elegant piano elements, along with some touches of a nice falsetto, something I appreciate when I listen to songs. It is little wonder that even on an album with quite a few hits that this heartfelt ode became a minor hit itself.
Hey, Soul Sister: One of the biggest hits of Train’s career (to-date), this simple and quirky song, with minimal instrumentation (ukelele and drums, for the most part) and passionate lyrics, point to the second layer of meaning on the album, a straightforward message of love. Listening to this lovely song fills me with a mixture of longing and sadness, in that I have not found my own soul sister to fulfill the promise of these lyrics, which I suppose is a fault that can always be rectified with the right person at the right time.
I Got You: Beginning and continuing into its bridge with a sample of the Doobie Brother’s “Black Water,” this white-boy soul song is singing about a man who is glad not to be singing a song about a girl that got away. It is upbeat and happy, exactly as one would expect, with spoken-word lyrics that at least hint at rap of a pleasant and mild kind.
Parachute: This song is a passionate sort of song about the difficulties of regular life in a relationship that sounds like something Daughtry would sing (and I mean that in a good way). With its plaintive lyrics over a driving guitar rock sound it sounds like a song that could have very easily been a hit, not this album needed any more (it had at least five hits, after all) to make its point. It is a song that any woman would be happy to have written about them, I would think, despite its tone of anxiety.
This Ain’t Goodbye: This gentle song is a bittersweet love ballad about the hope for a relationship to continue in some fashion even if it will not go the way that the singer wants. With its passionate singing and piano playing and backing strings, this is the sort of song I imagine playing over and over again, given its clear echoes of my own personal life.
If It’s Love: Continuing the general anxieties about love from the previous song, this song is more hopeful, filled with witty spoken-word lyrics that openly confesses a mutual love. Ironically enough, the video of the song pointed to the band members’ love for each other that allowed them to reunite. Besides that layer, this song is a much more upbeat one than the one that came before. Unsurprisingly, the song was a hit.
You Already Know: A song that builds up with a long slow and beautiful intro, it becomes a mid-tempo song with fuzzy guitars about someone who is not being particular honest. The song is apparently about letting someone go but not being willing to tell them why, feeling a bit used and taken advantage of and unwilling to explain what someone should already know.
Words: Continuing the somewhat drastic mood shifts on this album, this song is about a refusal to give up on a partner. It has strings, a soaring and soulful music and lyrics. Ideally, if someone could be comforted by words, this song expresses the desire to speak words of kindness and forgiveness. It also expresses a desire for avoiding words that cut and hurt. This song is a standout track on an excellent album.
Brick By Brick: This song is passionate in its desire to build a strong relationship brick by brick, starting from the bottom, focused on the long-term with a focus on love and loyalty. It is an optimistic song about trying to rebuild intimacy after difficult times, and it’s a song that many people can certainly empathize with in its realism and passion.
Breakfast In Bed: Continuing the mood of the past few songs, this is a long looking forward to something I have yet to experience, breakfast in bed with a loving partner. The song has soft lyrics and a strong percussive feel that sounds quite a bit sultry and romantic, as it should. I cannot imagine many people who care for someone that would not like to be compared with being breakfast in bed, loving and pleasing.
Marry Me: This song is a slow acoustic ballad that seeks to serve as a marriage proposal between the two lovers in this album. It expresses the sentiments of the singer (who did marry a woman at this time) but it is a song that, for fairly obvious reasons tends to make me feel a bit gloomy and lonesome given that not only have I never married but I have never been even particularly close to marriage, at least not yet. Again, this is a song that combines longing and sadness. Unsurprisingly, it was a hit single.
Shake Up Christmas: I am not a fan of Christmas songs, seeing as I do not celebrate Christmas, but the song itself is an original song and it happened to be a hit single when it was released (rather intelligently, I might add) as a seasonable single. It’s a fairly slight song, upbeat and somewhat superficial and a bit repetitive, but it ought to please those who like that sort of thing.
Half Moon Bay: This song continues a message of love, although the song appears to relate not only to romantic love, but it also relates to the singer’s love for San Francisco, reflecting on the joys of home life, the appreciation of the cuddling that happens on a rainy day, and other pleasures of domestic life that give some of the reasons why the album itself thinks so highly of San Francisco given its associations.
The Finish Line: This song, like “Marry Me” is a slow romantic ballad, a bit bittersweet but still focused on the destination of love, and the difficulties of dealing with mundane life with someone when someone has moments of soaring bliss. The song is realistic and sweet, but more than a little bit valedictory, which is a bit bittersweet given that the only finish line of love ought to be death, and even that is but a temporary end to the eternal appreciation of someone as a brother or sister in Christ for all time.
Umbrella: This song is a beautiful cover of Rihanna’s hit single “Umbrella.” It is upbeat and manages to reflect the song’s concern with the rainy weather of San Fran while also expressing a desire for love and intimacy. Well done.
Parachute (Alternative Version): This version of Parachute sounds like a good radio mix of the original song, but is not dramatically different from the original, just a pleasant remix.
Marry Me (First Dance Mix): This song is a less acoustic remix of the song, which makes it suitable for the radio and school dances everywhere. It is a pleasant mix, though, no matter how bittersweet the song material.
Like most of Train’s albums, this one has marked mood shifts at times from one song to the next, going from frustration and longing to hopeful expectation of a future love. The song contains deeper meanings about a sense of place relating to love and happiness, and if this album is a bittersweet one because it shows an appreciation of much that I long for–a settled place and a settled love life among them–it is a lovely album and certainly one that deservedly restored Train to popularity with the general public. Overall, the album is a well-deserved hit.
on January 19, 2014
I can't tell you how great it is to have two women tearing at your clothes every time this CD come on the stereo. I have had tremendous unsolicited love making ever since I purchased this recording. I play it in my car in the parking lot outside of where my girl friend goes to hot yoga class and I have gotten approached by several very good looking women offering either their telephone numbers or sex in the back seats of their vehicles. Yes sir! I owe it all to Train and Save Me San Francisco!
on April 17, 2014
NOTE: I AM RE-REVIEWING THIS ALBUM BECAUSE A LOT OF MY OPINIONS HAVE CHANGED,
At first I didn't like this album at all, because I listened to the Amazon samples and thought that there were too many ballads. But it eventually grew on me and I learned to like it. Some of the ballads are actually pretty nice, too. I might recommend this album, "California 37," and "Bulletproof Picasso," but Train's other albums I think are a little too slow and cliché. I'll rate every song on the album in order from worst to best. This is my opinion on all of the tracks--
Awful [1/5]-- None
Bad [2/5]-- None
Okay [3/5]-- Words
Good [4/5]-- Marry Me, Parachute, Save Me San Fran, You Already Know, I Got You, This Ain't Goodbye
Great! [5/5]-- If It's Love, Breakfast In Bed
Best: Hey Soul Sister
Save Me, San Francisco: A nice country song with a guitar intro. Pat sings about how much he loves San Francisco, which makes it an anthem for the album, because any Train fan knows that Pat loves San Francisco. I like how Pat sings opposites, such as 'stop' and 'go,' and 'up' and down.' There actually is a pause in the music when Pat says 'stop.'
Hey Soul Sister: THE best on the album!! Honestly, this one is perfect -- I don't want to change a thing about it. It puts you in a good mood whenever you hear it. Flawless guitar intro.
I Got You: It takes a little while to grow on you, but I guess it's fun to groove to. A little cliché, but it's still pretty good.
Parachute: I'm not a huge fan of the ballads on this album, but I liked this one. The best part is the lyrics -- Full of beautiful metaphors!
This Ain't Goodbye: Pat's voice is a little annoying at first, but other then that, I like it. It's a really pretty song.
If It's Love: Catchy, fast-paced, and fun. What's not to like?
You Already Know: Kind of starts to drag with the slow intro, but after that it turns into another great song! I like that 007 line.
Words: This is probably my least favorite song on the album. It's nothing new fom what I've already heard and Pat's voice is very annoying at first. But still, it's an okay song.
Brick By Brick: This is a great song. I love like the lyrics.
Breakfast In Bed: Not a lot of people like this song, but it's actually my second favorite on the album. Pat's voice sounds really calm and different from every other song, and it sounds really pretty to me. Most of the song is, like Pat's voice, smooth and calm, but at 2:59 the song gets really rockin' and eventually turns into an instrumental. There's also a weird synth sound effect at the end.
Marry Me: A slow and acoustic song with just Pat, a guitar, and maybe a piano. It's a great last song on the album. Includes some sweet lyrics, like "Marry me today and everyday," as the chorus says. The only cheesy line is "You wear white and I'll wear out the words 'I love you.'" Other than that, it's a very nice song.
And there you have it, Save Me San Francisco. Great for any Train fan. Bye for now.
on January 17, 2014
Songs that made me homesick for the Bay Area! Even though Monahan has since moved to the Seattle area he still writes for the City by the Bay in his adopted San Fransisco and we love it.With the commercial failure of For Me, Its You Their decision to come back and release Save Me, San Fransisco was a dog whistle call out to their most dedicated fans if not by the title alone and it worked! It gets even better as their next creation, California 37, has made them unstoppable: Loved his Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour for California 37 and hope they/he still has it to write more songs; Drops of Jupiter is still his best ever song and album but that was when they were still young and fresh and before the hiatus. It shows that even though For Me, Its You wasn't their most favorite work, the loyal fans are still out their and patient enough to wait for better inspirations.
on January 4, 2016
If you like Train, then you are probably familiar with most of the songs on this CD. Why wouldn't it get 5 starts?! I just love how cheap CD's have become lately. This is great music for under $10!