Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2001

Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me) by Train

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Train's abstract arty and catchy initial hit broke many rules yet established this rock group's presence on the charts for some time.

Song: Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)
Artist: Train
Album: Drops Of Jupiter
Songwriter: P. Monhan, J. Stafford, R. Hotchkiss, C. Colin, S
Producer: Brendan O'Brian
B000059Z82

Concept
Poetic ode to a girl the singer has the hots for.

Lyric
Stream of consciousness lyrics about a girl (Venus) the singer likes in a cosmic abstract way. No real story is related but the images are fun in a playful, introspective and poetic manner. References to stars, planets and constellations are numerous. Now that she's back in the atmosphere With drops of jupiter in her hair, hey, hey She acts like summer and walks like rain Reminds me that there's time to change, hey, hey Since the return from her stay on the moon She listens like spring and she talks like june, hey, hey Tell me did you sail across the sun Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded And that heaven is overrated Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star One without a permanent scar And did you miss me while you were looking at yourself out there

Groove
This appealing piano based track is built on a halftime rock ballad feel a la Elton John except the 16th note syncopated patterns are swung in a subtle hip-hop manner. When the full band comes in on the chorus along with the excellent string arrangement the groove is both contemporary and reminiscent at once. The singer phrases in the same swung 16th feel

Melody
The melody is very uniquely constructed with long lines in the verse contrasting with shorter hookier phrases in the chorus. In betweenverse 2 and chorus two is sectioned an effective driving and ramping pre-chorus. The verse allows enough space to give the instrumental accompaniment room for expression which then explodes in the transitions. Also there is an effective change of melodic reigister as the chorus is several notes higher than the verse.

Harmony
Harmonically, the chords are triads with an occasional added second for color. In addition to the basic I, IV and V in the verse the use of the major II chord out of its usual sequence gives a unique harmonic sound. In the bridge a modal bVII chord expands the harmony even further.

Structure
Signature Verse Chorus Signature (more produced) Verse Prehook Chorus Instrumental Transition Bridge Chorus Chorus Repetitive Cycle (Jam)

Signature
An Elton Johnish piano figure sets this recording apart from the others.

Production
One of the year's best produced recordings. The song, the instrumentation, the groove, the vocal preformance, everything about this cut is fresh and vibrant. Paul Buckmaster's string arrangements make it all work. It's got Grammy written all over it.

Performance
The vocals are appealing in their unique style and phrasing.

Predicted Longevity
Although this is not a classic song in a melody and lyrics sort of way, the excellence of the production and the quality of the recording itself and its mixture of old and new elements should give it a long life.

Album Cover: Drops Of Jupiter

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