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The Fray

Studio Album by released in 2009

The Fray review

The Fray returns with its eponymous sophomore effort

One of the brightest piano rock representatives The Fray is quite an interesting collective from Denver. Its line-up includes vocalist and pianist Isaac Slade guitarists Joe King and Dave Welsh and drummer Ben Wysocki. The guys initially chose their quite unusual name for a simple reason that there was constant misunderstanding inside the collective concerning the sound of this or that song. Nevertheless today peace reigns in the band and this harmony is best reflected in its music. The Fray released its debut album How to Save a Life in 2005 and it went double platinum, then two EPs were released. Yet despite the commercial success the guys did not manage to conquer the audience’s life at once the main success being brought by the single Over My Head (Cable Car). Four years after the debut The Fray returns with the eponymous sophomore effort which takes off where the debut ended and offer the same romantic songs pleasant in every way telling of happiness, love and breakup.

New tunes to describe familiar feelings on The Fray

It seems that the topics touched upon on the Colorado romantic musicians’ second album could be well exhausted a long time ago but a great number of artists always manage to find new tunes and lyrics to describe the feelings everyone is familiar with. The album opens with Syndicate, a slow song refined with great guitar hooks and Slade’s heartfelt singing while track Absolute is a more up-tempo composition with a memorable chorus. The first single off the album You Found Me is a wonderfully beautiful ballad telling a story of a happy meeting of two young people whereas Say When is one of the most emotional songs on the album, with the lyrics that are able to touch the listener’s heart strings. A philosophic composition Where The Story Ends will surely be appreciated by all who are used to think deep about simple things, and another great ballad Ungodly Hour surprises with new falsetto notes in the vocalist’s voice. A definite highlight We Build Then We Break deserves praise not only for smart lyrics in which the singer addresses a guy who has treated badly his girlfriend but also for a perfect harmony of verses and chorus, all against a faultless musicians’ playing. The album closes with an ironic song Happiness starting with soft guitar chords and gradually turning into an impressive anthem much more rich in sound that we could ever expect from The Fray.

The ten tracks are listened at a breath

On the whole The Fray’s second album proves to be quite similar to the debut work as the guys have obviously followed the same formula as before. Besides the production duo of Aaron Johnson and Mike Flynn has once again played the role of the album’s producer which also makes its influence on the sound. Yet it is still too early to say for sure whether the band has exhausted all of its resources. Although the two albums are alike there is still some difference between them, and it is first of all a larger proportion of more up-tempo emotional songs in relation to the ballads as well as a notable professional grow off all the band members. The record The Fray has turn out to be the collective’s breakthrough even though not a significant one. The guys have found their niche in the music world almost at once and are recording a great material for their listeners without haste and fuss. All the ten tracks of The Fray are listened at a breath and leave a most positive impression so the band can just go on in the same direction without being afraid of experimenting a little, though.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (09.02.2009)
Rate review4.85
Total votes - 599