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How To Save A Life

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Audio CD, September 13, 2005
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While crafting songs for The Fray’s third album, the band found inspiration in a faraway source. “We were reading about sailors in the 16th century, how they would leave home and have their bearing for days, but then wake up and realize they had no idea where they were,” explains Isaac Slade, lead singer and pianist for the Denver-based foursome. “The stars aren’t ... Read more in Amazon's The Fray Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic
  • ASIN: B000AA301G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. She Is
2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
3. How To Save a Life
4. All At Once
5. Fall Away
6. Heaven Forbid
7. Look After You
8. Hundred
9. Vienna
10. Dead Wrong
11. Little House
12. Trust Me

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is the debut album from the Denver-based foursome The Fray, features 12 melodic pop-rock songs and soaring vocals that resonate with sprawling tapestries and tales of hopefulness and heartache. Their debut release How To Save A Life showcases The Fray's style - a sophisticated, emotional blend of tinkling pianos, acoustic and electric guitars, and gently insistent rhythms that serves as an ideal backdrop for lead singer Isaac Slade's pitch-perfect, achingly beautiful vocals. The album includes the addictive single Over My Head (Cable Car) and the title track, How To Save A Life, a heartbreaking meditation on salvation inspired by Slade's experience as a mentor to a crack-addicted teen. Epic. 2005.


On their full-length debut, Denver quartet the Fray don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but those looking for melodic, mid-tempo pop could do far worse. That said, the 12 songs on Top 40 hit How To Save a Life are barely distinguishable from each other. If you like one, you'll probably like the rest (and you'll be in the company of thousands of other listeners.) If you don't like one, it's unlikely the others will change your mind. Formed in 2002 and signed by Epic in 2004, the band consists of Isaac Slade (vocals, piano), Joe King (guitar, vocals), Ben Wysocki (drums), and Dave Welsh (guitar). Since their formation, the Fray have elicited comparisons to British groups like Coldplay and Keane, and American ones like Counting Crows and the Wallflowers. They've also toured with Weezer and Ben Folds and had songs--like first single "Over My Head (Cable Car)"--featured on such popular programs as Grey's Anatomy. Though they incorporate guitar, unlike Keane, Slade's expert piano playing is prominent on every track. To his credit, he can also hit the high notes just as gracefully as Coldplay's Chris Martin, but therein lies the rub: As with the band as a whole, Slade hasn't quite found his own voice yet. How To Save a Life is polished and professional, bland and inoffensive. It goes down easy, but evaporates into the ether just as quickly. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Very good song and great chorus.
Demon Deacon
I went on Rhapsody and listened to the cd a few times and I loved almost every song right away.
This album is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys melodious music, it will not disappoint.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 197 people found the following review helpful By A. Estes on September 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
...But I get the feeling we're gonna be hearing a lot of these guys very soon.

The Fray are one of those rare bands that comes along who instantly stick in your head and force you to fall in love. To best describe their style, you could say they sound like a combination between Coldplay and Jimmy Eat World. But that description simply doesn't do their music justice. You could compare them to a thousand bands, and never quite hit the nail on the head. The fact of the matter is, The Fray play pure, honest rock music with heart.

My first experience with The Fray was seeing them open up for Weezer this past July. Having not heard a single note of theirs before the concert, I had no idea what to expect. But as soon as they kicked in with the first song, "She Is" (which is also the first song here), I knew I had just discovered something very special. After the concert, I picked up a copy of "The Reason" EP (which is rather hard to come by otherwise) and listened to it twice over the ride home and I was hooked. With those seven songs and the single "Over My Head (Cable Car)" (which had an odd position on the "Stealth" soundtrack) being the only things to feast on, I was very anxious for this release. I had high hopes for this album, the kinds of hopes that were just asking to be crushed.

But one listen to this CD, just like their live show, and I was sold. Aside from the production being better than "The Reason," the overall sound and feel of "How To Save A Life" is drastically improved. The material here isn't as dark and the songs are a little more traditional. If you've heard "Over My Head" and you enjoy it, I highly recommend buying this album. Each and every song has something special, each song has an instantly memorable chorus.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Demon Deacon on March 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I watched The Fray open for Ben Folds at Furman University last fall and was blown away. The vocals, lyrics, and musicianship were superb and when I heard "Over My Head (Cable Car)" for the first time, I became an immediate fan. Here is my review for How to Save A Life:

1. She Is- This fast-paced tune is a solid opener for the album. Lead singer Isaac Slide's vocals are instantly likeable. 8.5/10

2. Over My Head (Cable Car)- This song was originally called Cable Car but was changed to "Over My Head" in order to make the song name more recognizable. This song started out as my favorite and still is. The piano is amazing, the vocals are incredible, and I love the lyrics. 10/10

3. How to Save A Life- A slower song which picks up a little ways into the song. Very good song and great chorus. 9/10

4. All At Once- Great lyrics in this one as Slide talks about how sometimes one has to make hard decisions in a relationship. 8.5/10

5. Fall Away- I love this song and it's a close 2nd to Cable Car. Great backup vocals in this one. 9.75/10

6. Heaven Forbid- Not spectacular but still is a great addition to the album. Isaac changes keys in this one a few times which is pretty cool. 8/10

7. Look After You- I remember The Fray performing this song when I saw them live and it was incredible. When Isaac sang the chorus, he included the crowd singing without instruments and it was incredible. 9.5/10

8. Hundred- A slower song which is very nice, but not a standout. 8/10

9. Vienna- My favorite slower song on the album. The lyrics are very sad and talk about how there is "Really no way to reach me, cause i'm already gone." 9.5

10. Dead Wrong- I like the chord progression on the piano in this one a lot.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By ladym on September 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If you like songs that tug at your heart, make you think, make you cry, make you remember, or if you just like that melancholy sound then you will love this cd.

I first heard the song "How to save a life" on Grey's Anatomy and I was hooked.

I didn't go right out and by the cd because I didn't want to waste my money like I have in the past.

You know the story... You fall in love with a song, go buy the cd and that one song was the only good song on the whole cd and the rest just suck.

Well this was not the case.

I went on Rhapsody and listened to the cd a few times and I loved almost every song right away.

So if you like the slower sound of music with some powerful lyrics GET THIS CD!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Javier Chiavras on May 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If you're like me you've been wondering when a pop/rock album was going to come out that wasn't completely boring and unoriginal. Keane put me to sleep, new Coldplay sounds like old Colplay, and Matchbox 20 gave up. Don't even get me started on that Daniel Powter, American Idol crap. Just when I was about to put on a Ben Folds record and slash my wrists(the only sensible thing to do), here comes The Fray. Hooky but not hokey, catchy but not contagious, The Fray's debut has just the right kind of variety and believability to restore my confidence that every once in a while a good band gets overused on TV shows and radio promos. I won't go into a track-by-track, so let's just say that they mix up their styles and tempos, and tug at all the right heartstrings. They're a little like Something Corporate, but without all that annoying MySpace college emo attitude. If you've been looking for a cd you can put in that will please your artistic sensibilities while managing to sate your girlfriend's need for songs that she heard on her favorite dramas, then don't turn to Howie Day, jump into the Fray.
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Topic From this Discussion
What is the meaning behind "How to Save a Life"?
i found this in the frays website the fray.net

"The title track, "How To Save A Life," was inspired by Slade's experience as a mentor to a crack addicted teen. "I was a sheltered suburban kid when I met this guy. He was a recovering addict, coming out of a really tough... Read More
Sep 20, 2006 by B. Thompson |  See all 5 posts
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