maura johnston on train's "soul sister"
The chorus is jacked from an even worse place. "Hey Soul Sister" is an orgy where bad ideas trade STDs, and the most syphilitic brain-fart stumbled in drunk from a Smash Mouth show. (For those of you who arrived late, Smash Mouth was a band from the late ’90s that was formed when a soul patch met cake frosting. Their wikki-wikki scratching and dorkpie hats did to music what blood-soaked clowns do to the dreams of sleeping children.) Listen to “Hey, Soul Sister” a few times and you’ll inevitably be reminded of the “whistling solo” from the Shrek house band’s inescapable "All Star." From Smash Mouth, Train picked up an earworm that burrowed into society’s asshole, laid 4.7 million iTunes eggs, and gave birth to a grey cloud of banality that covers the Earth.
The lyrics represent the weird hippie fantasies of a yuppie toolbag. Quoth front-nozzle Pat Monahan: “I just wrote on my computer for a while what I saw as a group of beautiful women at Burning Man dancing around the fire. I’ve never been there before, but that’s what I imagined it would be like.” Yes, this song is the result of a grown bajillionaire who dresses like a 19-year-old Dane Cook sitting pud-handed at his MacBook and writing fan fiction about the fun times hippie girls have at Burning Man. Dude is like five feet and 10 inches of midlife crisis.