Anyone who listens to the radio has heard The Fray, and anyone who has listened to the radio in the last few weeks has also probably heard their newest single, “Heartbeat.”
While this particular song moves away from the band’s usual recognizable style of piano led rock, it still retains all the other elements of The Fray’s sound and style, and gives listeners more of what they’ve been wanting to hear since the band’s self titled sophomore effort in February of 2009.
The reason I mention this song though (besides the fact that it provides a wonderful way to relate this article to whoever is reading it) is that it gives the best example of what can be found on the rest of the band’s third album, “Scars and Stories.”
What the listener is going to find within these twelve tracks is simply more of The Fray’s music, much of it sounding like “Heartbeat”, and while there have been some stylistic changes, for all intents and purposes this is still the same band that penned the famous “How to Save a Life” all those years ago.
The Fray has always sought to capture audiences with emotive lyrics and vocals, and this is exactly what the listener is going to find on “Scars and Stories.”
“The Fighter” (one of the album’s highlights), tells the story of two lovers parting, with the underlying assumption being that they will never meet again, despite their plans. As suggested by the name, one of them is a fighter, who is setting out to earn his fortune while being implored to stay by his love. The song is inspired by a Norman Rockwell painting and while I could describe it here, listening to the song and looking at the picture personally will provide a much better understanding of each piece.
This is, of course, assuming that the previous paragraph has piqued the interest of whoever is reading this article, as it is quite possible that one could either be moved deeply, or write off the idea behind the song as cliche and dull.
If that is the case for any individual, then this is probably not the album for that person, although that probably did not need to be said since anyone familiar with The Fray’s music will be familiar with this album.
That single idea is the best way to sum up this record. I enjoyed it, and thought it well worth a listen, but I’ve always liked The Fray, and since this album is more of the same it fit well with my personal tastes and preferences.
They aren’t doing anything drastically different (although there is a lessened influence on piano), but they are doing what they have been doing for some time now and they have clearly mastered their trade.
There isn’t anything particularly new and exciting on this album, but for those looking for a comforting and familiar sound, “Scars and Stories” is well worth a try.