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TRAIN - FOR ME ITíS YOU - SONY/BMG
Record Rating: *****

Train - For Me It's You - Sony/BMG With comparatively little fanfare, this American band from Northern California emerged as one of the more surprising success stories of 2001, when their Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) spent a total of 23 weeks in the top ten on the Hot 100, and won two Grammy awards including one for Best Rock Song.

As they proved on that breakthrough album, Train excel at crafting songs that loom large without losing sight of the little things. Radio-friendly rock bands these days tend to be virtually indistinguishable from one another, but with their fifth effort For Me Itís You, Train tries to breaks from that crowd.

First single is the soaring ballad Cab, which wraps a simple acoustic melody in wave after wave of swirling guitar and harmonies. The band's new bassist Johnny Colt is from the Black Crowes, and he compliments front man Patrick Monahanís voice to good effect. Other new addition to the band is keyboardist Brandon Bush who shines on several tracks. All I Ever Wanted is a gorgeous tune that doesn't hit its climax until its two thirds over, and youíll love the payoff.

The thirteen tracks do a lot of storytelling, Monahan has heavy themes weighing on his troubled mind, on standout tracks like Shelter Me and Always Remember, he slips and slides from one heart break to another, but at the end of it, always gets up and keeps on living. The band tries once again to keep their slice of life sound simple and lean. Still, if you became a fan after listening to Drops Of Jupiter, you should be warned, this disc's overall tenor is not as breezy and amiable as Train's fans have come to expect. There are a bunch of bucolic tunes here that do disappoint, but For Me Itís You is still worth a few repeated listens.

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