The Fray have come a long way since their debut album How to Save A Life. Their new follow-up to their self-titled sophomore record, Scars and Stories, still shows off The Fray’s classic lyrical twists, as well as their famous cathartic tunes that have made them rise to fame.
“Heartbeat”, the album’s leading single, is a powerful kick-start track that will satisfy past, present, and future listeners. Probably one of the more hopeful tracks, this song is about “loving somebody all the same” and inspires the listener to keep the album playing until the end.
Throughout the album, we hear many powerful tunes, often with mesmerizing piano transitions during the bridges which pull out the emotion in each song. The second track, “The Fighter”, is a sad love story that sets the stage for the rest of the record with its driving guitar and percussion. “Here We Are” is another favourite, taking the listener back to the days when The Fray was finally mastering their hard rock sound on their second album.
After seven heavy tracks, we finally hear the first ballad, “I Can Barely Say”. Led by Isaac Slade’s impressive vocal range and captivating chords on the piano, the song makes us want to constantly replay it, as it never quite feels complete, and in effect adds to the mysteriousness of Slade’s vocals. As well, “1961” is a refreshing, upbeat tune with a catchy guitar riff that you can’t miss during the bridge. The contrasting choruses nicely compliment this beat with their soothing melodies.
The Fray have once again impressed us with their new release, and somehow they manage to keep the lyrical irony as they always do. “Munich” depicts everything as “black and white and grey”, yet the band continues to paint a vivid image for each song in the listener’s mind, with the most colour ever compared to their last two albums. Slade’s emotion behind every single word makes each song worth at least two listens.
Forget scars – The Fray will be setting their own stage for good memories to come.
– by Priya Ramji