on May 4, 2004
If you haven't heard the song "Drops of Jupiter" you've probably been living under a rock since the summer of '01. DOJ was one of the most played songs on the radio that summer, and in typical radio fasion it was played to death in most people's eyes. However, it worked and scoered Train a number of Grammy awards and tons of new fans. So you've most likely heard the song, but how about "Drops of Jupiter" the album?
Train signed up big time producer Brendan O'Brien for this project, and his influence is quite noticable. The album itself is quite a progression from their debut self-titled album. It features even more intrumentation (piano, trumpet, saxophone, marimba, etc.) with lead singer Pat Monahan showing off his musical abilities with the sax and trumpet, and the songs are much more layered and produced. The albim also shows a trend to more radio-friendly pop music, as noticed in the title track and songs such as "She's On Fire" and "It's About You", however the classic souther rock roots and meaningful lyrics still remain. Songs such as "Something More" and "I Wish You Would" and "It's About You" leave a bit to be desired for me, but are still good songs. The highlighs of this cd are the absolutely beautiful ballads "Hopeless" - a painful song about a failed relationship, "Let It Roll" - a tribute to Pat's late mother, and "Mississippi".
This cd isn't as good as their first, but comes pretty close. The songwriting, lyics, and instrumentation prove thast Train isn't just another pop band.
on August 6, 2003
Please give this CD more than one try! Once you've listened to it about 4 or 5 times, you'll come to love it! My opinion on each song:
1. She's On Fire: The first song on the album. Maybe it shouldn't have been #1, but it's catchy, nontheless. FINAL WORD(s): Catchy Song!
2. I Wish You Would: I really liked this song, the lyrics are good, and a great chorus. I guess it did have a kind of soft feel to it, but that's what makes it enjoyable. FINAL WORD(s):
Sing Along With The Chorus!
3. Drops of Jupiter: Oooh, the big one! It's overplayed on the radio, even now, but it's the one that got them a Grammy. It sounds... space-like. I can imagine the moon and more spacey things when I listen to this song. Not my favorite, due partly from being overplayed. FINAL WORD(s): A Real "Star" Of A Song. @_@
4. It's About You: I keep getting this mixed up with "I Wish You Would" and "Something More" when it gets stuck in my head, for some reason. They're three totally different songs! But I like this song OK. FINAL WORD(s): The Lyrics Make Sense (Even If I Don't!)
5. Hopeless: Oh, this is a very happy song! ^_~ Actually, it's kind of sad. But I likethe voices spilling over eachother in the last chorus. FINAL WORD(s): Addicting Song!
6. Respect: "Everybody needs a little respect/everybody needs a little time..." Up-beat song that makes you want to hum along with! FINAL WORD(s): The Lyrics Are So True!
7. Let It Roll: Slow-ish song, but very soothing. I can kind of relate to this song. FINAL WORD(s): A Kind Of Sad Song For The Strong, If That Makes Any Sense!
8. Something More: The first time I heard this song, I felt as if I'd heard it before...??? FINAL WORD(s): I Love The Instruments In This Song, Especially The Violins!
9. Whipping Boy: It used to be my favorite song on this CD. I agree with one of the other reviewers in that "It sounds as if Pat gave this song a little more 'umph'." FINAL WORD(s): I Like The Way He Pronounced "Boy" (Boooooooooooooowwwwwwweeeee!) :D
10. Getaway: Wow, this song is sort of like "Clocks" by Coldplay, except for about a million other things! The sound sort of goes UP and DOWN, like waves in the ocean. (Oh, I'm so poetic sounding. *^^*) FINAL WORD(s): Niiiiiiiiice!
11. Mississippi: I'll always know the spelling of this word: "M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpback-I". Erm... good song when you're about to fall asleep; very soothing. FINAL WORD(s): A Good Ending To A Good CD!
And all this is coming from a young teen, so this is a song for all above 10 years old ages. (Or maybe I'm just mature for my age... or maybe not!) SORRY FOR ALL THE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR MISTAKES! (But you can still understand it! ^_^ )
on July 22, 2003
Train took the edge off on this CD. While on the debut, singer Pat Monahan sang about relationships based on nothing better to do, "Meet Virginia," and yearning for a person when your relationship is dying, "If You Leave," there are none of those topics in Drops of Jupiter.
In a way, the two albums are very compatible. The debut CD begins with "Meet Virginia," and angst-filled love song. Drops of Jupiter begins with "She's On Fire," a love song with little of that original angst. Instead it is meticulously produced and quite catchy.
To match the debut's mea-culpa on personal values "I Am," there is "I Wish You Would," in which Monahan begins with "Endless nights and sleepless days/ And all I do is promise to change my ways." But whereas "I Am" captured the perspective of one man looking inward, "I Wish You Would" is Monahan looking outward and trying to succeed in a relationship, not just in life.
Matching "If You Leave" is "Drops of Jupiter." Where "If You Leave" looked at the toll of a woman leaving on him, "Drops of Jupiter" maturely examines what happened to her. "So tell me, did you fall for a shooting star?/ One with a permanent scar/ And did you miss me when you were looking for yourself out there?"
To match "Homesick," a song about needing to feel known is "It's About You" where Monahan pleads with a woman to need him and to rely on him.
Perhaps the most telling sign of the band's maturity comes in the next two songs. Matching "Free" is "Respect." Instead of a song about longing and being a "fool" for the way he's acted, Monahan sings about needing to respect others and asking forgiveness.
Matching "Blind" is "Hopeless." Where "Blind" tells of a man scared that a relationship ended because "when I pulled myself up to your waist side/ did I hurt you or just slide in?" "Hopeless" is a song about needing someone, wholly, and completely, which is exactly the thing that Monahan was afraid to say in "Blind."
This is an album that is three years older and more mature than its predecessor. It is wiser, it is more sound and it is a better band playing it.
So why three stars? Because the album lacks the edge of the first album, when on a $22,000 budget, Train attacked old lovers and demons alike. In Drops of Jupiter, Train attacks themselves, a bold move, but one that was calculated just a little too closely to make this album great. As it is, it is very good, just like the debut album. Put together, Train has a storyline that is very good, leaving only a question as to what that next chapter will be like.
on June 25, 2003
Probably not. But Train does soar. I'm not sure I've ever listened to a band that can deliver such uplifting chorus's as they do. In fact, all their music is wonderfully crafted and they make use of a wide variety of instruments create a complete sonic experience. "Drops of Jupiter"(the song) is the perfect example of just what I'm talking about. Here's a quick run down on all the songs on "Drops of Jupiter"(the album).
1. She's on Fire: This song, as one of the purest rock songs on the disc, is on fire! (9.4/10)
2. I Wish You Would: This may well be my favorite song on the CD(despite the fact that it has harmonica in it. I happen to despise those things. But don't worry it's just in a few little spots). The change of key for the final repeat of the chorus shear geneous and absolutely breathtaking. WOW! (9.6/10)
3. Drops of Jupiter: What more can you say about this song. It is gorgeous. A pure masterpiece. It is the standard by which all other songs by train are judged. Yet, it's not my favorite on the CD. Yes, radio overplay is probably partly to blame. (9.5/10)
4. It's About You: Another great song. You'll find some quietly clever lyrical manipulations here... and lets not forget, a soaring chorus. Of course, what Train song would be complete without one. (9.4/10)
5. Hopless: Not the strongest track of the lot, but not hopless either. It's catchier in some parts than others. One plus is that you don't need an amazing voice to sing along. (8.5/10)
6. Respect: Another amazing song. When he sings "everybody needs a little respect", I can't help but concur. And yes, the chorus is amazing yet again. (9.4/10)
7. Let it Roll: This sounds like classic rock. Another great song too. Not instantly catchy by any stretch though. (8.3/10)
8. Something More: Yet another high flyer, "Something More" provides just that with each repeat listen. (9.3/10)
9. Wipping Boy: Strange title but you'll get it if you give it a listen. Pat seems give his voice a little extra umph in this song... and I love it. This song rocks! (9.1/10)
10. Get Away: This song is kind of hit and miss in terms of its catchiness, but the good is more than enough to keep the bad from causing this song to get away. (9.1/10)
11. Mississippi: Somewhat unusual, and not exactly high flying, but fascinating enough not to skip. It's the weakest track on the disc but Train does try some creative things that make it worthy listening material. (8.1/10)
Anyone who loved "Drops of Jupiter" (again I'm refering to the song) should definitely give this CD a listen. None of the songs really sound quite like that one but given a fair chance, this album won't dissapoint. Give it four or five listens before you rush to any conclusions. The disc really rewards those who give it multiple listenings. Once isn't enough. I guarantee you it will not give you an accurate idea of this sure-fire classic's quality. I should tell you that this is coming from someone who normally doesn't venture into this particular genre of music. (Lifehouse, Audioslave, and even classic Pearl Jam and the like, are more my cup of tea. But Train is too good not to like regardless.) Just as a side note, listen for Train's new single "Calling all Angels." It is another classic in the making. (I'd give it a 9.8/10!)
on June 9, 2003
There are a million rock bands out there that sport the straightforward, radio-friendly sound made popular by Matchbox 20 and Vertical Horizon, and that's a shame, because with such a proliferation of bands, some very good records are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Drops Of Jupiter is such a record. And, while there is no shortage of ready-for-public-consumption rock here, there's also enough depth and quality to the music to separate Train from their peers.
The title track of Train's sophomore album is pretty much its centerpiece: in ten words or less, it's the best ballad The Black Crowes never made. Singer Pat Monahan's earnest voice blends perfectly with the epic, string-laden melody of the song, and the song's chorus is almost maddeningly catchy. It's by far the most complex of the songs on this album, but on tracks such as the moody "Mississippi", Train complement their basic guitar sound with an array of horns and an accent of acoustic guitars, lending an added depth that was missing from their debut album. Elsewhere along the album, the band continue to enhance their sound with slide guitar and string arrangements.
Of course, Drops Of Jupiter has its share of basic, straightforward tunes, but songs like "Let It Roll", "Hopeless" and "She's On Fire" retain the pop craftsmanship Train is known for despite their simplicity. Of course, the album does have its less stellar moments. Three or four of the album's eleven songs -- "Respect" and "Something More" spring immediately to mind -- seem so obviously slick and crafted for mass appeal that they end up coming across as disposable pop fodder. Overall, though, Drops Of Jupiter is a very solid album that should be given a listen to, and it separates Train from their contemporaries by overcoming the sophomore slump that seems inevitable for bands of this genre. Recommended.
on April 18, 2003
I said Train's first album couldn't compare to any of Sister Hazel's albums (a similar band). Well, none of Sister Hazel's albums can compare to Train's second album. This time around, Train pulled everything out of their bag. This record is charming and beautiful. Plus, it rocks !
I believe there's 2 sides to Drops of Jupiter. The first half contains the first 6 songs. The last 5 songs belong in the second half. Let me explain. No really, let me. The first six songs are nice pop-rock songs, from the rocking songs She's on Fire and Respect to the soaring ballads Drops of Jupiter and Hopeless. There aren't really any flaws in these songs. However, they aren't the most original songs on the album. You've heard similar songs in the past, whether from Sister Hazel or Vertical Horizon. This is not a critic, they may not be the most original but they are very, very well done.
Now for the second half of the album, the last 5 songs... This is where Train really shines and shows signs of genius. This is where Train makes this record it's own. You've probably heard different versions of She's on Fire before, but you've never heard anything like Let it Roll or Whipping Boy. This fact isn't really obvious at first, but you'll learn to appreciate the cleverness. You already have a hint if you've heard the second single, Something More. Now I've waited a long time to say this about a record... You may love the ballads on this album, you may think Drops of Jupiter is the best one, but you haven't heard nothing until you get to the last song, Mississippi. This is definitely the most beautiful song here.
Chances are, you won't regret getting Drops of Jupiter. If you liked the title song, I don't see why you wouldn't like the rest. It's not even the best song on the album.
on December 22, 2002
I heard the single "Drops of Jupiter" (DOJ) in the car one night on the way home from breaking up with someone who had grown apart from me. It was one of those intense "right song at the right time" experiences that just flooring...So I ran [to my computer] and ordered the SACD release of this album (which sounds PHENOMENAL if you have good gear, BTW) just for the DOJ single...and I ended up loving the rest of the album even more. ..
These guys seem like they are all pretty much on the same creative wavelength and began as a bunch of friends jamming in a garage or something and had some good luck. (Well deserved, given their talent.) I'd love to see how they are in concert.
DOJ is one of those rare contemporary gems for anyone who has loved and lost, or loves unrequitedly...where every song seems to crystallize what you were feeling at a particular moment, when you were recalling a specific memory, or are feeling a certain yearning. Well worth owning the whole disc, esp. the SACD version. Wicked crisp.
I doubly recommend this one to anyone who likes Matchbox 20 and Lifehouse.<
on November 14, 2002
I was a fan of Train when I first heard "Meet Virginia" and "I Am" from their first self-titled release. However, I was blown away the very first time I heard "Drops of Jupiter"--I sat waiting in my car just to hear who sang it! I have yet to find another song that mesmerizes me so much in just the first listen...but even more so, such a song that continues to captivate me even years later. The entire album in general, though, includes an array of mellow jazzy tunes ("Hopeless," "Get Away," "Mississippi,") as well as more alternative sounding tracks ("She's on Fire," "I Wish You Would," "Whipping Boy.") Each song contains beautiful instrumentation set to Pat Monahan's soothing voice. However, only about 3/4 of the songs truly find a perfect median between a harmonious melody, a country-like sound, and/or creative riffs.
"She's on Fire," faster-paced and guitar driven, starts the album off decently, but, similarly to "Respect," neglects to show off the guys' real talent in music making. The rest of the album carries you through several great songs, each slightly different than the next. Some of my personal favorites include "I Wish You Would," "It's About You," and "Something More." "Something More" was the CD's second released single and has a great melody. "Let it Roll" is also very good, starting out with a unique introduction of string and percussion before changing to acoustic and bass guitars. "Get Away" and "Mississippi" close the album with a very mellow sound, featuring Monahan singing to a bluesy arrangement of piano, bass, acoustic guitar, and even his own styling on the saxophone at times. Nonetheless, I must emphasize again that the song "Drops of Jupiter" is worthy your fifteen bucks alone! With incredible lyrics, beautiful orchestral instrumentation, and an impassioned melody like no other, this song is probably one of my favorites of all time.
This CD is a refreshing change to the usual mainstream stuff, as well as a more mellow and relaxing alternative to the bouncier pop or louder rock genres. Go out and get this CD-you will not be disappointed!
on October 23, 2002
I didn't buy the last CD. I wasn't going to buy this CD. I didn't care for the first single the first million times I heard it (jab at mega-redundant pop radio stations). Then, one day I found myself humming and singing along. Afterall, after a station plays a song enough, you know the words by osmosis whether you like it or not. Suddenly, I realize that I actually like the song "Drops of Jupiter". Still, not gonna buy it. The big single from the last CD ("Meet Virginia") is in the back of my mind and I truly hated that song -- nope, not gonna buy it. Then I see a live performance of Train with Fuel and think, hhhmmm, these guys sound pretty good. I just might forgive them for "Meet Virginia". Then I see a Train-only live performance on TV and I'm hooked. Yep, I bought the CD. Lo and behold, I love it! The rest of the songs don't sound a lot like the single but in a good way. The CD has variety while sticking with Pat's signature vocal sound. The CD is solid with far more singles than ever got released. Don't waste all the time that I did resisting it ... just buy it.:)
on September 24, 2002
I rant against the corporate nature of music radio today as much as anyone. I hate the direction that it has gone in and the complete unoriginality of virtually all formats. Nonetheless, it is still possible to pick and choose a few fine artists and albums out of the whole mess. Train is certainly one of them.
Virtually all of the songs on this album are excellent. The title track is definitely one of my five favorite singles of the new millenium thus far. While the radio killed it, I still enjoy hearing it. Truly a fantastic, beautiful song for the ages. Other songs on this album are also great. The lead track "She's On Fire" and the very catchy "Respect" are two of my favorites, as they are somewhat uptempo for this album. However, more mellow gems like "It's About You", "Let It Roll", and the closing track "Mississippi" also absolutely hit the mark.
All of these songs are well written, tuneful, and flawlessly played. The band wrote all of the songs themselves, which is always a plus in my book. This is not so much an album that I would rock out to but one to sit back and relax--and in some cases sing along--to. Call my overall rating 4 3/4 stars for a true pop/rock mellow gem.