Train Save Me, "San Francisco"

71 Billboard Rating

Train frontman Pat Monahan isn't kidding when he promises toward the end of his band's fifth album, "Save Me, San Francisco," that "brick by brick, we'll get back to yesterday." Train's 15-year anniversary puts the group on the nostalgia track, from shrinking its lineup to the three founders-Monahan, guitarist Jimmy Stafford and drummer Scott Underwood- to a title track that celebrates the band's formative days. On "I Got You," Train nods to Bay Area forebears the Doobie Brothers by using the lyrics and melody from the group's "Black Water." But Train travels in a fresh direction during the beatnik buoyancy of the single "Hey, Soul Sister," the playful cadence of "If It's Love" and the ambient build of "Breakfast in Bed." But the trio mostly stays on a familiar track with the lushly crafted melody of string-laden songs like "Parachute," "This Ain't Goodbye" (co-written with Ryan Tedder) and "Words." Monahan's earnest love songs are all sugar and sunshine, right up to the gentle album closer, "Marry Me."-Gary Graff

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