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seeso
04-03-2010, 06:40 AM
I came across an interesting blog just now. Thought you guys might like to read it.


The Problem With... Train's "Hey, Soul Sister."
By Shahryar Rizvi, Friday, Apr. 2 2010

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2010/04/the_problem_with_trains_hey_so.php

I know, dear readers, I know. This song has been on the charts for half a year. And it simply will not relent.

It needs to be taken down.

For a second, imagine that one jerk with the guitar that hogs the attention at every party you attend. Now imagine the same guy 20 years on--and he hasn't developed an ounce of humility.

That's what Train is like.

Like the classic "guitar dude," Train usually appeals to women who are either too na´ve, or too drunk, to notice that he really just wants sexual access to them.

Ladies, the more you know...

So. This guitar guy comes to the party without a guitar case. I guess he's been reflecting on how shallow he was and he's just looking to have a good time and schmooze like the rest of us... wait, what?! He brought a ukulele?

It gets worse: He just noticed the only black girl at the party, and he's improvising a song to impress her with his limited knowledge of African-American nomenclature.

And that's basically what "Hey, Soul Sister" sounds like. The band's lyrics here seem cribbed from an R&B artist--and yet the band still kept in its usual litany of tired pick up lines and pop culture references. I dare you not to shudder at this line, coming from Train: "You're so gangsta/ I'm so thug."

In the video, the lyrics are traveling along the walls and furniture in stop motion. Then an ethnically ambiguous woman lounges around in her apartment in a few scenes. Seems the lyrics tell us he doesn't want to miss a thing she does? Uh, she's not doing a whole lot.

It's all confusing, that's all I'm saying.

And, in one fell swoop, Train has both ruined the ukulele and may have potentially alienated its one black fan.

CoLmes
04-03-2010, 07:19 AM
lol i dont really know how to take that. but Brit's been hounding me to do a video for it..

Zakulele
04-03-2010, 07:23 AM
I like seeing the uke getting mainstream exposure, but I personally don't like the song overall. I hope people don't hate the uke, because of their disdain for the song.

rvabdn
04-03-2010, 07:35 AM
hmmm. I think I might be that guy.

shwee
04-03-2010, 07:43 AM
Interesting. For me, that song was like most songs that come on the radio nowadays (IMHO). It was one of those songs that was really enjoyable to listen to once in a while in the car, but after a while, it was like it just wouldn't go away. I never really hated the song, I just kind of got all the enjoyment that I was going to get after hearing it three times. And then I was done. I actually didn't even know it featured a ukulele for a while, and I never had any desire to want to learn it for myself either. Most of the time, when a song gets a really large amount of hatred from the public, it's not necessarily a bad song. It's usually just a mediocre song that the radio stations keep playing over and over until no one wants to hear it anymore. That's what Soul Sister was to me.

puremarkska
04-03-2010, 10:26 AM
Conspiracy Theory time!

So the ukulele is tuned 2.5 steps above the guitar (ukulele GCEA - 2.5 steps = DGBE treble strings of a guitar). Follow me?
The chords for "Hey Soul Sister" (which Train plays on ukulele) are E, B, C#m, A.
Take the chords and subtract 2.5 steps (E, B, C#m, A - 2.5 steps = B, F#, G#m, E)
B, F#, G#m, E are the chords to ... "I'm Yours" (which Jason Mraz plays on guitar)!!!

But wait, there's more.
Now, if you number all the letters in the alphabet (A=1, B=2, C=3 ... etc.)
Then add up all the following letters:
JASON MRAZ + TRAIN + HEY SOUL SISTER + IM YOURS + PATRICK MONAHAM (train's lead singer) + 28 (hey soul sister reached #1 on itunes on march 28th)
= 666 which of course is the mark of the beast *gasp*!

All of this is 100% scientifically proven and irrefutable evidence that pop music is pretty unoriginal.

Kanaka916
04-03-2010, 10:54 AM
Eh Aaron, it's Saturday, you stay on Kaua'i - no tell me you stay bored awready. Me, I getting ready fo go sleep cuz I gotta go hana tonight. Yea, I know, off topic . . . .

ukulelearp
04-03-2010, 11:29 AM
I bought a Fender Nohea about a year ago. The only problem I have now is it being the "Train" ukulele.

mailman
04-03-2010, 01:02 PM
Just to show you how incredibly un-hip I am....

I've never heard the song, although I have heard of the group. I wouldn't know them if I tripped over them, but I've heard of them....

CoLmes
04-03-2010, 02:07 PM
Aaron, you just blew my mind.

NatalieS
04-03-2010, 02:47 PM
As a girl, I think the song is well.... um.... just ok. The uke intro is the best part about the song. Most of my girlfriends have no idea that uke is used in it, they just like the song. Oh well!

hoosierhiver
04-03-2010, 05:15 PM
Just to show you how incredibly un-hip I am....

I've never heard the song, although I have heard of the group. I wouldn't know them if I tripped over them, but I've heard of them....

I second that... and Aarons thing too!

Mim
04-03-2010, 05:15 PM
We played it at our uke jam today. I tell people, although an enjoyable ditty... I have a hard time singing the lyric "untrimmed chest". But today I belted it out in a horse tired voice and rolled my eyes as I did! Fun stuff!

But yes... seems like a song they wrote just for the heck of it and someone said, "Hey people will not be able to get this thing out of their head, so lets release it"!

GreatGazukes
04-03-2010, 05:48 PM
Well it's official (I had suspected as much), I live under a rock.

What, huh? train, soul sister, umph, download, listen, ahh no, not heard, who is he? some new James Blunt??........mmmm think I'll just go back under the rock for a while...cya later.......:)

puremarkska
04-03-2010, 07:13 PM
Who is Aaron?? ... I think you guys are thinking of anaka (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?3-anaka). That look-alike thing always gets me :D Speaking of which, my new favorite rapper is dumbfoundead (http://www.youtube.com/user/dumbfoundead) who at first I thought was Koaloha's Paul Okami (koalohapaul (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?5732-koalohapaul) on UU)

Ok ... back to Train ...

austin1
04-03-2010, 07:23 PM
Who is Aaron?? ... I think you guys are thinking of anaka (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?3-anaka). That look-alike thing always gets me :D Speaking of which, my new favorite rapper is dumbfoundead (http://www.youtube.com/user/dumbfoundead) who at first I thought was Koaloha's Paul Okami (koalohapaul (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?5732-koalohapaul) on UU)

Ok ... back to Train ...

I think they're talking about this guy:

http://www.newsgroper.com/files/post_images/David-Hasselhoff---Baywatch-Photograph-C10103337.jpeg

He also happens to play back up uke on that Train diddy...I saw him in the video.

:D

Milla
04-04-2010, 09:03 AM
There is such a thing as reading too much into something. I realize the song MAY have some other meaning, but maybe they just threw some lyrics together? I enjoy the song and the ukulele riff. Isn't that enough? Why do people have to read into these songs and turn a cool sounding song into political lameness. I'm not saying he did that here, but people do it all the time. I still enjoy the song and ukulele in it, regardless of what someone may have interpreted the video/lyrics to mean.

dktoller
04-05-2010, 06:43 AM
Just to show you how incredibly un-hip I am....
I've never heard the song, although I have heard of the group. I wouldn't know them if I tripped over them, but I've heard of them....

Count me among the blissfully ignorant.

bbycrts
04-05-2010, 08:06 AM
The ukulele has had a real up/down past. It becomes wildly popular, then totally ignored or worse, disdained as a novelty instrument.

I think to become an instrument that is generally regarded for its merits as an instrument and not as a fad or novelty hack, then it will need to become a part of the pop scene. It's a very versatile instrument - much more so than most people will give it credit. For lasting appeal and not just another fad bubble, songs like "Hey Soul Sister" need to be a part of the ukulele repertoire. Do we listen to novelty songs that feature a guitar and worry that it's going to ruin the appeal of the guitar? No...so if the uke is to become universally respected and an instrument of choice in the mainstream, there will have to be music we like and music we don't created with it.

Hey Soul Sister - not my favorite song. But for the record, I really really like "I'm Yours."

GrumpyCoyote
04-05-2010, 08:46 AM
The basic opinion in the original post is valid. There is a lack of authenticity in that song that makes me crazy. It’s beyond subjectively liking or disliking the song or the act. Like most pop, it’s a contrived and intentional lyric crafted to pander to something very specific. That comes through loud and clear – and makes my teeth hurt every time I hear it. It’s less of a song, and more of a product – and it shows.

However - to the meta-point about the uke being featured, it's just another mediocre pop song, much like any other pop song (although not as bad as most). Nothing particularly revealing about the state of the ukulele from that alone.

It does none the less, speak to the “mainstreaming” of the uke. Like those above said, we’ll get the full spectrum – good and bad, as the uke gains traction in mainstream music. Any backlash from this particular song is nearly irrelevant compared to the potential backlash against the uke from the cumulative effect of it being “productized” over and over. The over-use of the uke in car commercials, reality shows, and movie soundtracks does the same general damage as a poser pop song. Death of a thousand cuts.

Not that a back-lash banishing ukes to closets and attics again is inevitable – but we have seen it happen twice before under nearly identical circumstances.

haole
04-05-2010, 11:06 AM
I'm not one to panic over the state of the ukulele, but I dislike this song on a different level:

"Untrimmed chest" and "you're so gangsta, I'm so thug" are unforgivable lyrics.

"Scooch on over closer, dear, and I'll nibble your ear" just got a whole lot less creepy in comparison.

Zakulele
04-05-2010, 12:54 PM
I'm not one to panic over the state of the ukulele, but I dislike this song on a different level:

"Untrimmed chest" and "you're so gangsta, I'm so thug" are unforgivable lyrics.

"Scooch on over closer, dear, and I'll nibble your ear" just got a whole lot less creepy in comparison.

Strongly agreed

ukulelearp
04-05-2010, 01:03 PM
It happened today. I took the Fender into a shop to have the action compared with another and a shopper said "isn't that the train ukulele?". Great.

Zakulele
04-05-2010, 02:11 PM
It happened today. I took the Fender into a shop to have the action compared with another and a shopper said "isn't that the train ukulele?". Great.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9fNvtMyW7cE/SbLxjWSKZcI/AAAAAAAAAc4/nGouQq6JJfg/s400/CharlieBrownAaugh.jpg