The Problem With... Train's "Drive By"

When reviewing previous Train songs in my column, I imagined lead singer Pat Monahan as one of those guitar-playing guys on college campuses who hasn't grown out of it. A few years later, I'm starting to understand Train's target demographic might be the women who were captivated by these jerks when they were students. Even though the women have moved on, they may wish for a guy who will whisk them away on a white horse to a romance-novel dreamworld.

Of course, I'm stereotyping. Yet my description uses fewer cliches than a typical Train song.

Train's latest single, "Drive By," is driven by an acoustic guitar and a diluted pop beat. Monahan sounds he's imitating Red Hot Chili Pepper's lead singer Anthony Keidis -- must be a California thing.

Monahan is confused. The first verse starts with the singer seeing someone who resembles a woman, and continues with the explanation, "'cause you moved to west L.A. or New York or Santa Fe or wherever." Either the object of his affection wants to throw her stalker off with random city names, or they're like J.Lo and have careless travel plans.

The chorus has a sappy and conflicting message: "Looking for a two-ply Hefty bag to hold all my love." That may mean he wants to throw his massive love away in a trash bag. Actually, Train's listeners may appreciate someone who takes out the trash. Am I right, ladies?

The chorus ends with cliche lines like, "I'll be there for ya" and "the way you do me" and that '90s phrase, "If you don't like it, sue me." Maybe I will, gosh!

Like Train's 2010 song, "Hey, Soul Sister," this track sounds crafted for daytime commercials for appliances or cleaning products. Hefty will no doubt use this track because they're named in the lyrics.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi