Reviewed by Cory Clubb
The Fray self-titled
"The Fray’s original style is secured on this album and even more refined and crisp."
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.
Cory Clubb is author of the novel Saved by Grace and currently working on his first thriller. He holds a degree in Graphic Design and is always seeking to advance his talent as a writer. He is an avid reader, movie buff, and music enthusiast, tools he uses to infuse his imagination. He lives in central Illinois with his wife and three sons. You can find out more about his projects at his blog.