Review: Train – Drive By

Nothing at all weird about appropriating a term for a shooting someone with a gun – potentially killing them – to your weird, vineyard-centric romantic conquest. Nothing weird about that at all. Oh, Train. There are so many things heinously wrong about you I don’t know where to start. So let’s start at the beginning.

The first time many of us ever heard Train was when our ears were drive-by’d by Drops of Jupiter, Train’s 2001 hit that exists solely in the mind of the world’s most boring Idol contestants. A celestial paean to a lost love, or maybe just a randomly assembled collection of words on a page…

Now that she’s back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow, hey, hey

…Drops of Jupiter is a testament to the death of rock music that occurred in the mainstream around the start of the millennium. Swallowed whole by boy bands and pop stars, the idea of popular rock was abandoned to the likes of Nickelback and Good Charlotte and other heinously generic college rock bands. Drops of Jupiter itself is so uninteresting that Taylor Swift covered it for a live album. The fact that Taylor Swift has a live album is the second most depressing thing I’ve read today, right after the fact that Wikipedia apparently indulges Korn by having a specific URL containing the stylised backward ‘R’. And let’s just not go into Hey, Soul Sister because I only have so much time in this world.

The worst worst worst thing about Train is always their lyrics. They can write a pleasantly average pop-rock song pretty easily, although they seem to have a batting average of one major hit per album, so perhaps they aren’t all that good at it. There’s nothing at all remarkable about the superficiality of Drive By – the bizarre mixed metaphor aside – it’s just a strummed guitar over what is, to be fair, at least a mildly interesting drum line, and who can forget a heavy dollop of autotune smeared on his vocals like so much blood spattered on a convenience store’s windows. And the video? Well for a start, she is wayyyy too pretty for anyone who wears a denim jacket and isn’t Ryan Gosling.

But once you try and dig beneath the surface a tiny bit, the shovel clangs against the rock hard metal Bullshitium. Because oh looooooooord are these lyrics terrible. It’s pretty clear that they don’t really care what they say, they just want a good melody and some catchy earworms to get it climbing up the charts. But seriously, this song is, like, I can’t even.

Oh but that one night
Was more than just right
I didn’t leave you cause I was all through
Oh I was overwhelmed and frankly scared as hell
Because I really fell for you

Well that seems fairly normal. Simplistic, yes, but it’s telling a story in rather Taylor Swiftian terms, so I can’t begrudge them too m-

Oh I swear to ya, I’ll be there for ya
This is not a drive by
Just a shy guy looking for a two ply
Hefty bag to hold my love
When you move me everything is groovy
They don’t like it sue me, mm way you do me
Oh I swear to you, I’ll be there for you
This is not a drive by

Oh for fuck’s sake. We’ve reached peak Kirk van Houten here, people. PUT YOUR GROCERIES IN MY TWO PLY HEFTY BAG OF LOOOOOOOOOOVE. The fact that they allowed that to be attributed to their name is…terrifying, but brave. I’ll give them that. Although, perhaps I’m missing some hidden meaning? Perhaps there is something under the surface? Allow SongMeanings.net user itsalchemy to elaborate:

I also noticed today on the radio that the chorus has a deliciously dirty double-entendre: “Just a shy a guy looking for two-ply / hefty bag to hold my love.” Apart from the surface meaning, I think the “two-ply hefty bag” he refers to is a vagina… and the “love” he wants her to hold is his baby gravy. :P Pat does seem like one to have a line like this in a song!

I could respond to this properly, but I think the only response to it sums it up pretty well:

“Ok.”

There are some other real clunkers in there (“On the other side of a downward spiral/My love for you went viral”) but it’s never quite as bad as the chorus which somehow crams in a cringeworthy instance of “groovy”, “sue me” and, out of nowhere, “mmm way you do me” which, it seems like he wants to sue her for the way she bangs him? I don’t know, but it’s clunky and terrible and these are some of just the worst lyrics I’ve ever heard.

But, you know. Train has a top 10 hit with this one, so I guess a certain kind of people can look past the fact that these are the lyrical equivalent of a nail through the dick. What kind of people, you ask? Well, these kinds of people:

The “free best part of song button” is actually in the top right of the window. It looks like an ‘X’.

Rating: 3/10

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2 thoughts on “Review: Train – Drive By

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