It’s hard to believe that it has already been four years since the debut album of the Fray. The titular track for that album, “How To Save a Life,” became a huge television-fueled phenomenon of a single after being featured on popular shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scrubs.” And as the band’s latest album shows, not much has changed.
The Fray might draw out your emotions and tug at your heartstrings a little, but stylistically, there is still that same piano-driven sound that fans will remember from the first album.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the band’s aesthetic, but because the Fray fails to develop its sound in any interesting direction or add a new layer into the mix (save for more religious lyrics this time around), it comes across as bland and uninspired, though somewhat competent.
I imagine that this collection of songs, however, will have no problem finding the same success as the band’s previous album, with the already popular first single “You Found Me” and other tracks like “Never Say Never” and “Syndicate,” which all sound as if they were manufactured for maximum radio play (whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is your call).
And call it fluff if you want, but it’s agreeable fluff with near-universal appeal. The band’s songs are so undeniably catchy and melodic that they’re hard to ignore. Yet somehow, The Fray seems to showcase a bit of a darker side of the band. Rather than including any songs about finding love or happiness, The Fray seems to focus mostly on losing love.
The Fray has proved that solid music and longevity is something they strive for, and once again have accomplished. This is the kind of album that will make you cry, think about love and love lost, but most of all, really make you appreciate the beauty in all aspects of life.