Wrapped in sincerity, The Fray’s newest release is anything but surprising. Instead of branching out to a new sound, which is common for most sophomore albums, the Denver foursome stick to their roots with another handful of melancholy tunes best suited for a television drama.
Like their double-platinum debut, The Fray is driven by touching piano rock and heartfelt lyrics. Each of the ten tracks on the album are a story on their own, twisting the listener around their bittersweet concepts and forcing them to unsuspectingly hum or mutter along to the melody.
One of the striking aspects of the album is singer Issac Slade. Accompanied by dramatic, yet artistic guitar work, Slade shows his fingers still have a musical touch in them. His raspy crooning is the perfect companion for his emotional piano riffs which seemed to have gotten better with age. But such predictable talents is The Fray’s clear downfall. Despite ear-catching numbers like “Syndicate” and “Say When”, each track unwillingly sounds the same.
Such a quality won’t appear negative to their loyal followers, but the trait can be a relentless enemy for musicians. Music isn’t meant to be predictable; it’s suppose to captivate one’s senses and surprise you in an unexpected fashion. Until The Fray understand the need in transforming their music, the group’s latest work will indeed sound better during the closing minutes of a prime-time drama than on an actual disc.
Download: “You Found Me”, “Say When”, “Syndicate”