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Drops of Jupiter

Drops of JupiterVedder often was caught saying that what he wrote were not about him. While expression through music is liberating, it was at the same time painful because his words were his life and his life was his. By putting words into paper, you give a part of you away. He never did realize that the public was scrutinizing the lyrics to his songs. And so to say that his songs meant nothing but the inner workings of his creative mind, he was playing safe.

Perhaps this was true of Train, providing lyrics on paper for only one song, Drops of Jupiter. The band may have felt that putting their lives on paper were terrible and too demanding on their part. At least if they put only one song in print, they still have ten more for themselves. Listening is different as with reading. Ironically though, they provided words for one of the most painful songs I've heard for a long time.

Seldom does a band make sense if it tries too hard to sound intelligent without sincerity. It does not touch listeners when it sings about experiences it hasn't experienced. How can you use symbolism for rejection, betrayal when the you yourself have not felt it? Train is different as it often sends me staring at a blank wall, especially with Drops of Jupiter. "Did you fall for a shooting star? One without a permanent scarů" Words sound beautiful again.

Buy the album not just for their No. 1 single but for the experience you might derive from its entirety. Though at first, the thought of listening to a whole album from an unknown band was uncompromising, I'm glad I did. All the tracks achieve the task of being digestible to the ear without loss of meaning. I thought commercialization has made every band sign a hold-back clause (where you agree to not give all your best and save some for the next album). Even if Train vanishes from the commercialized music scene, they have made a permanent scar on me.

I do not intend to dig deep into every song and claim as if I knew what each meant. I couldn't care less. As long as I derive pleasure from listening to it, then it fulfills its purpose. Its enough that I stare into a blank wall without bumping into it.

September 2001


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