Customer Reviews: The Fray
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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on March 29, 2013
was a christmas gift. My daughter loaned me her disc a few months back to see i would listen to more than the one track we played in our easy listening playlist.
She ended up being right, we liked it. So she bought us the CD (download). thanks
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on March 18, 2009
After their gigantic debut, The Fray returns three years later with a self-titled sophomore effort, one that fringes on being another big hit. On this album the band looks to hold their spot in listener's hearts with the soothing, popular pop/rock they have come to perfect.

The catchy piano driven tempos start off with "Syndicate" and then keep things moving with "Absolute". From the sound of the first two songs you would think these tracks would be the first radio singles to hit the air waves, but it's the track "You Found Me", that jumps off the album as the hot hit single. The song "Enough For Now" captures a strong ballad about past mistakes and repair. For fans of the band's colossal hit "How to Save a Life" this track is as close as you can get. Slowing the pace with "Ungodly Hour", vocalist Isaac Slade pours on emotion by the bucket full. Then on the track "We Build Then We Break" creates a similar flair of melody and sound that is reminiscent of legendary rockers U2. The Fray's original style is secured on this album and even more refined and crisp.

One thing missing is the spiritual quality in their music. On the first single "You Found Me" it seems the lyrics are asking why God was too late in answering our prayers and why He is absent in our lives. This was the one turn off for me about this album. Other than that, Christian themes are hard to recognize and even harder to decipher. I suspect it's difficult when a popular band like The Fray straddles the identities between mainstream and Christian listeners.

The Fray has added numerous more hits to the band's already growing collection with this release. Although the album is only ten tracks long, it requests multiple plays and it's easy for the listener to find new favorites after each one. At this pace The Fray will hold steady and give us many more future releases and beloved hits.
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on March 7, 2009
Not that "How to Save a Life" wasn't any good, on the contrary it's actually a solid, 3 star album, but it didn't really leave me with the impression that they had much more to offer. In my experience, most bands never top their debuts, and The Fray seemed much to bland to ever do any better.

Needless to say, I was supremely and pleasantly surprised once I took the time to sit down and listen to their self titled sophomore effort. Goodbye bland!

The first thing that hit me was that Isaac Slade no longer sounds like a John Mayer knockoff; he's really found his range this time around, and isn't afraid to put a little soul into his delivery, especially on tracks like "You Found Me" and "Ungodly Hour". He really sounds like he's singing songs that He wrote and he wants You to know that he means it this time.

Being a classical pianist myself, the second thing I noticed was the quality of the keyboards. On their first album, pleasant, breezy melodies were abundant, but nothing you'd break a sweat playing. This time around, though, there's a noticeable improvement in not only the aggressiveness of the piano, but the complexities of the melodies as well. Slade's no Elton John, but if keeps up this level of improvement, he will be soon! (Intricate! That's the adjective I wanted)

Thirdly, and most importantly, this album has A SOUND! I can actually name individual songs, and can even associate the tempo and feel of each song with its place on the album. The only track on here that I'd consider filler is "Where the Story Ends", but I liked it anyway and don't even skip it!

Though not a masterpiece, The Fray's sophomore set is definitely an improvement over their freshman effort, and I'd recommend it to just about anyone, even black people.
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on June 3, 2009
The Fray's first cd, "How to Save a Life" is probably one of my favorite cd's so I looked forward to their 2nd with both anticipation and reserve because I didn't want to be disappointed with this band. The 2nd cd "The Fray" is a good effort and they didn't stray from the original style, which I count as a positive. The only unfortunate aspect I find is that I tend to skip 2 songs on this cd, where as I never felt the desire to skip any song on the 1st cd.

I am by no means a music critic so this is completely a personal opinion but the song 'Happiness' is mainly an acoustic song that seems similiar to what you'd expect from an unplugged version but then toward the ending it is filled with a choir joining in. I am not a fan of choirs in my music so this song is lost to me and that doesn't make me happy. I also have a tendency to skip 'UnGodly Hour', though I haven't figured out why yet and I hope it grows on me. The song 'We Build Then We Break' I thought sounded all too much like a Howie Day song,which throws me off a little but it is still a listen worthy song.

The huge positives on the cd are 'Absolute', 'You Found Me', 'Say When', 'Enough For Now', and 'Never Say Never', all could seamlessly flow into the 1st cd "How to Save a Life" and that is what I was hoping for. It's a very praiseworthy 2nd cd.
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on April 9, 2011
The first time I played `The Fray' I have to say I was a little dubious as it felt very much like the first album. The first album was so good that may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it all just felt very samey.

Then I gave it a few listens, got to know it a bit more and some tracks started to stand out. `You Found Me' starts gently and then when the beat drops in you get a rush from the feeling it creates. `Say When' is another gentle starter, but by the time the end rolls by it has built to quite a crescendo. This album gives us the vocals and piano hooks we loved from the bands debut and whilst it has a similar feel, it also has enough of a voice of it's own to keep you interested. I hear the band are in the studio working on their next album as I write and if they turn out another album along these lines, but with maybe a touch more development then I will be a happy fan indeed. This is still great song writing from a great band that is well worth checking out.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on March 28, 2010
I guess I'm a bit biased because I just love the Fray. But I can say the CD is as great as previous albums to me. Mostly mellow, some upbeat songs. Really good.

I expected the DVD to include live footage of actual SINGING-PERFORMANCES, etc. IT DOESN'T. It is a half an hour docu-drama following them around in very disjointed snippets and spurts of travel, some talk between them ( and directed at the camera ) of their writing frustration, etc. Very little speech or singing from anyone. Lead singer speaks her and there. Very short DVD and leaves MUCH to be desired. I have seen several cable TV footage and shows that are much more entertaining and feature actual performances which are out of this world... FOR FREE. LOL. The DVD also has VERY poor lighting, so you may even strain to see some of it. ( I have 20/20, BTW ) Oh well. Still a good buy for sure. I bought it as a set for $8.95 or so for both the CD and the MINI DVD. Awesome for what I got.

Do it. You'll like it either way. The CD alone, which is great, would cost more than I paid for this SET in the music stores. Can't beat it.
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VINE VOICEon February 3, 2009
I like most of the songs on this album by the Fray. There are only two songs that didn't connect with me. One track is "Ungodley Hour". I found this track to be rather slow. "Happiness" didn't connect with me either. Having said that, I think this album has several good songs. The best song is the lead single "You Found Me". I like Isaac Slade's vocals and piano playing on this track. He is very moving. "Never Say Never" is a very pretty song. It has a romantic quality. I like this track a lot. Ben Wysocki plays the drums with such vitality on the track "Absolute". "Syndicate" is an upbeat song. The guitar playing by Dave Welsh is very good here. I like the musical arrangements on the track "We Build Then We Break". This song sounds very good. I love the intensity of the drums on this track. I really enjoyed "Where The Story Ends". This song is about advocating peace instead of violence. I like that message. I enjoyed most of this CD. I think most listeners will too.
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on February 5, 2009
I believe most serious followers of music would rate the Fray's first album among the top ten to fifteen most likable of the last 10-15 years. Usually, if a first album is this good it is due to one of two reasons: they wrote songs for many, many years and acccumulated them all on their first commercial album or they are among the best creators/craftsmen of the genre. I believe this album proves the latter. This band's (lead singer) melodies, songwriting and musicianship are not far behind the best of the very best such as Coldplay. It would not surprise me if they became as popular as Coldplay over time.
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VINE VOICEon September 14, 2009
Putting out an album with 10 tracks is risky. Most artists today litter their albums with an upwards of 18 songs, knowing that a good portion of them are nothing more than `filler' but that will result in at least a decent 10 or so high quality songs for the buyer. When you put out an album of 10 tracks you have to be sure you are delivering 10 top notch songs, otherwise your delivering an `incomplete' disc. Sadly, The Fray didn't deliver in full here. In fact, exactly half of this album is brilliant (and by brilliant I truly mean BRILLIANT), but half is only 5 songs (barely enough for an EP) and thus the disc as a whole comes across rather mediocre.

I'm giving this a B- (thus the 4 stars) but let it be known I'm disappointed here.

It's not that the rest of the album is bad. In fact NONE of the songs are bad, but there are only a handful of exceptional tracks. The balance of the album is merely satisfactory. When you have five `filler' tracks on an average album it's not so bad, because you have at least 8-12 really good songs on the album.

I'm not going to beat a dead horse.

I'm going to take a second, before I get into the album, to just talk about the band in general. I was a fan of `Over My Head' but it wasn't enough to make me by the album. `How to Save a Life' was stunning to me when I first heard it, but I quickly grew tired of hearing it (this band is relentlessly used over and over again on TV and Radio that it is almost disgusting). Lead vocalist Isaac Slade is whiney, you cannot get around that. He is rather nasely and just comes across very vulnerable. It's a distinct and instantly recognizable voice, and one that I enjoy (on the right song) but it must be said that at times his voice makes it difficult to understand what he's singing (he doesn't enunciate properly) and so there are some songs that I probably would like more had he sung it differently (namely `Enough for Now', which is quite touching yet hard to listen to). So yes, his voice is an acquired taste and not everyone will like it, but that doesn't make it `bad' as so many have complained.

It just makes it different.

So, those BRILLIANT songs...

The two singles, for starters, are stunning. The first time I heard `You Found Me' I was instantly touched by the power in the words and the emotional connection I felt within Slade's struggle. Even better still is `Never Say Never', which totally caught me off guard. Like I mentioned, their first album resulted in two very good singles that didn't motivate me to actually buy their album. `Never Say Never' is such a masterpiece that I immediately purchased the album, same day that I heard the song on the radio. I think that it reflects my own personal situation at the moment, and so I feel this grave connection to it, and thus it brings me to tears. `Say When' is another brilliantly crafted track, one that really plays to Slade's strengths as a vocalist. He sounds impeccable here; best vocal track on the album for his style. `Ungodly Hour' is such a moving experience for me, completely earth-shattering and it just took me by surprise. It's one of those songs that matches emotional complexity with musicianship superbly; simple, delicate and unnerving.

Best song on the album, by a LANDSLIDE, is the closing track `Happiness', which just blew me away. The song is beautifully written, with such thought and poignancy, and the way it is delivered, with such grace and pain fueled sympathies, is just effortlessly engraved on the listener's soul.

It haunts me still.

That's 5, count `em. All 5 are stunning and deserving of as much praise as they can receive. Sadly, the remaining 5 seem to dampen their greatness.

`Syndicate', `Absolute', `Where the Story Ends', `Enough for Now' and `We Build then we Break' are NOT bad songs, but they are simply mediocre. `Enough for Now' is the best of the five and the closest to perfection (but for reasons I mentioned above it falls short for me). `We Build then we Break' sports an edge that I don't see on the rest of the album, and I wish they would have played with that a little more and perfected it because it just doesn't connect as deeply as it could have. The aggression in the end is flawless and could have infiltrated the rest of the album to unveil some nice results, but alas, it was not. `Where the Story Ends', `Syndicate' and `Absolute' are just a little to `been-there-done-that' for me; there is nothing special about any of them.

Oh well...5 stunning tracks is good enough sometimes.
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on March 9, 2009
What's the key to The Fray's success? Songs you can relate to. According Issac Slade, the band's biggest songs were the ones that he wrote in the middle of a problem, when he was most vulnerable, while the ones where the songs are like 'Here's what I've learned' didn't click. With this mentality, the band has had hits with my personal favorite "Over My Head," "How To Save A Life" and now "You Found Me;" check the common denominator and you'll see the same common denominator, or so goes Denver band The Fray's story. Of course, how do you follow up an album that dominated AC radio for a good six months? By going by the same formula, but with new material, or so goes the story of their self-titled sophomore album.

Highlights include the emotionally touching "Enough For Now," the pleasant "Where The Story Ends," a track where the other Fray vocalist, Joe, puts up a soothing performance in "Ungodly Hour," the electronic distortions in "We Build Then We Break," and probably a track I was too hard on, but is still strangely catchy, "You Found Me," which defines the sound of the album. Also, if you catch the bonus track "Fair Fight" you'll get one of the band's best in an amazingly vulnerable and mellow track that's excellent on its own.

Overall, while it doesn't really bring anything new to the table in the genre or the band, it is a good listen for fans and radio listeners alike. It sure has enough positive lyrics and radio-friendliess about it to increase the band's popularity. I just wish they would have taken more chances, as it sounds more like an extension to their debut, which may, or may not be a bad thing. As/Is, "The Fray" only shows that this is not where the story ends, but they use too many absolutes, as it were.
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