[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Train's “Drive By”
History: San Francisco band Train got famous singing about a confusing girl named Virginia and then they got SUPER famous singing about Jupiter and it's accompanying drops. “Drive By” is the lead single from their latest album, California 37. The most important thing to know about it is that it appeared on an episode of 90210. But not the vital '90s version, the new version that you might not even know exists.
Atmospherics: Bright, cheery guitar plucking; self-loathing* hand claps; ultra catchy catchiness.
*I freely admit that describing hand claps as “self-loathing” is just about the most arrogantly assholey thing anyone can do.
Scientific Analysis: There are any number of scientific grievances to be filed against “Drive By.” It's most egregious offense, though, occurs at the expense of love, the neurochemistry of which is as valid* any of the -ologies.
An examination of some of the lyrics:
“I didn't leave you 'cause I was all through. Oh, I was overwhelmed and scared as hell. Because I fell for you.”
Dude. For real? Like, forrealforreal? You know when that excuse works? Never. Because it's a lie. You don't not drink because you're too thirsty and you don't break up with someone because you love them too much.
If a person has ever said that to you, that they loved you so much that they needed a break from looking at your face but now they're back and they're TOTALLY ready to deal with that overpowering love for you, know that they just finished having sex with someone you hate. That is a fact. Here, look. Even Google Translator understands:
Note: Incidentally, while plodding around on the Internet doing research for this post, this accidentally happened:
Google is the closest we will ever come an omniscient being, and yet we still yearn to understand Drake. Aces.
“Just a shy guy looking for a two-ply Hefty bag to hold my love.”
Anytime you're trying to convince a woman to love you, you should try and avoid metaphors that involve trash bags. I mean, unless you're talking about those clear recycling bags. Those things never tear. They're like goddamn magic. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that a wizard sprinkled them with glittery dust that fell from his butthole. Or something. I don't know. I'm not in charge of goddamn trash bag construction, yo.
“My love for you went viral.”
You probably want to avoid mentioning herpes too. But maybe that's just me being old fashioned?
“So let's skip the 'How you been' and get down to the 'More than friends' at last.”
Remember the part in Friday where Smokey shouted, “When you gon' let me fuuuuuck, Ms. Parker?” That's basically what just happened here. Slick ass Train lead singer Patrick Monahan.
“Oh, I swear to you. I'll be there for you. This is not a drive by.”
I suppose it's possible that he's using the phrase “drive by” here to mean an actual, gang-style drive by, but it's considerably more likely he's using it as a euphemism to mean the relationship will not be short term. And that's cool. Except he says it over and over and over and over again, and it begins to feel like a police officer at a night club: the more there are, the less safe you feel.
Someone needs to put that shit on a card ASAP.
(I) Did anyone ever figure out why Virginia was exercising in heels?
(II) Love is an entirely unscientific construct until a scientist needs it to be otherwise.
(III) There's a 20 percent possibility that Patrick Monahan is a member of the Bloods.