April 5, 2001

Take the Train to the Middle Ground

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When most bands these days put forth works that can be categorized either as fluffy, boy-bandish tripe or gloomy, depressing rock, it’s hard to find groups that stand somewhere in the middle. Ably filling that gap these days is San Francisco-based Train, whose heartfelt, melodic brand of pop has always been easy on the ears.

After going platinum with its self-titled effort in 1998 (which made waves with the hit single “Meet Virginia”), Train returns this year with its sophomore album, Drops of Jupiter, which adeptly blends strong songwriting with mellow vocals and instrumental diversity.

It’s hard to pin down where exactly Train is coming from. After all, its lead singer, Patrick Monahan, is originally from Erie, Pa., but the rest of his bandmates hail from California. The bicoastal mix is readily apparent on Drops of Jupiter