Music » Livewire

Train

Saturday, July 19, at the Agora Theatre.

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If the fashion at Contempo Casuals corresponds to the disposable fluff of teen pop, and skate-punk style resides in Hot Topic's faux-goth lair, then the snappy business garb sold at Banana Republic is the aural equivalent of easy-going rockers Train. Reliable, not flashy, the San Francisco quartet caters to a slightly upscale crowd, eschewing fads for neutral-hued tunes that are as dependable as a pair of khaki chinos.

Yet familiarity breeds success in Train's case -- with typical chain-store ubiquity, the group's mellow hits have dominated adult-contemporary airwaves ever since the country-flecked "Meet Virginia" propelled Train's eponymous 1998 debut to platinum sales. In fact, their Billboard-chart and dentist-office saturation only increased as subsequent ditties -- such as the Grammy-winning "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" and the current smash "Calling All Angels" -- featured ever-expanding orchestration and hooks that soared higher than the heavens. My Private Nation, Train's third and most accomplished album yet, doesn't mess with the time-tested formula. Expertly filling a James Taylor-shaped void, Nation brims with hope-runneth-over songs, breezy percussion, and lush string interludes -- an uplifting experience that their Agora appearance should re-create with no-nonsense, 100 percent, cotton-crisp earnestness.

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