Very few artists aside from the American Idol type can credit their success to television network executives. One of these groups would be The Fray. Their music became highly popular in large part to being featured on the show “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Their first full album release, How To Save a Life, featured music that was heavily driven by piano and the vocals of Isaac Slade. In all, each track was simply a variation of the previous. The self-titled sophomore release is nothing more than a continuation of their first release. This album could easily be called “How To Save a Life, Part 2″. There is very little variation in any of the tracks, and not one stands out any more than any of the others. Slade’s voice often sounds nothing more than whiney and I can only imagine how many pre-teens fantasize about comitting suicide while listening to the album. The problem is that there is no point in any of the tracks where it would be worthwhile to take your own life.
For four years of waiting, Fray fans can’t be too happy with this release. Then again, it’s more of the same and it might meet all expectations. Maroon 5 didn’t do this bad of a job.
Overall, this album is a 2/5. While Slade and Co. can put together one song that embodies and shines on their artistic abilities, they appear to come off as tepid when it comes to deviating from “the formula”. The fact that this album has only 10 tracks assures there is nothing more these guys could do in four years aside from rely on Slade. The only standout track is “Absolute”, because it is the only one that isn’t depressing.
keep on keepin on