#132 Train – For Me It’s You (2006)

This was the bands first release with its new line up. During the recording of their previous album My Private Nation, founding member Rob Hotchkiss quit citing his disagreement with the musical direction of the band. On the ensuing tour for My Private Nation, bassist Charlie Colin was dismissed allegedly for drug use. Stepping in for the For Me It’s You record were keyboardist Brandon Bush and original Black Crowes bassist Johnny Colt. The addition of Colt led me to believe the band would return to the classic rock sound, unfortunately that would not be the case. Instead the sound continued to drift more towards “Matchbox Jr.” as one music critic aptly described it. It would be a commercial failure and be the bands only record to fail to sell at least 500,00 copies despite the reasonable success of the single “Cab”. The song sounds like no other cut on the disc.It is a piano driven tune that has a mellow, jazzy feel. It’s an easy pick for any future Train Greatest Hits package. Once you remove Cab from the playlist, this record gets uneven and musically schizophrenic . The record gets off to a promising start. “All I Ever Wanted” kicks things off and is a mid tempo winner that hints at the sound of the older Train line up, you’d almost swear it was Rob playing the acoustic guitar. The second cut “Get Out” shows hidden potential but is suffers from overproduction and is followed up by Cab. “Give Myself To You” tries to bring the record back and is one of the better tracks in the middle of this offering and leads into “Am I Reaching You Now” which is yet another song that sounds good but suffers from too much slick studio production and would have sounded better stripped down and raw. Train that offers up the strangest of cover songs. The covers they have done in the past all call back to their classic rock roots. “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” is a cover of a song originally done by former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould. unfortunately it is just a miss. The 8th cut on the record “Shelter Me” is the first track that really jumps up and grabs your attention. It’s one of the hidden gems on this offering. Catchy,slick and cool…but it works. You have to hold onto that feeling for a while, as the next four cuts are quite simply awful. Just when your are ready to give up on this album comes track 13. It’s the title song of the record”For Me It’s You”, hands down the best song on the disc. Your just not ready for the powerful, bluesy song that is coming from the speakers. The song has great lyrics (everybody got something that they wanna sing about, laugh about, cry about…it’s true…for me, its you) and a charitable, self empowering message. Your reminded once again, because you’ve probably forgotten by listening to this record, that this band was originally built around tremendous musicianship. Listening to this album again I appreciate it a little more than I originally did, but I am also reminded of the potential this record had that was ruined by Pat’s megalomanic control of the band truly taking over and helping to keep this from being a better offering. While you can understand Cab being the first single from this disc it’s unforgivable that “Shelter Me” and “For Me It’s You” were left on the shelf while “Give Myself To You” and “Am I Reaching You Now” were released. My guess is they may have had a better chance to move more units had that not been the case. The lack of success of this release would force the band into a hiatus, see Pat release a solo album and push the band to the brink of non-existence. But it also set up one hell of a comeback…

Other Train on this blog: 

#118 Train – One And A Half (1999)

#124 Pat Monahan – Last Of Seven (2007)

#134 Train – Save Me San Francisco (2009)

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