REVIEW - THE FRAY - SCARS AND STORIES
It seems that piano-pop rockers The Fray have spent quite a bit of time prepping their third album, ‘Scars and Stories’. They band members each had a lot going on in their lives, which not only delayed the album slightly (it was available for preorder back in October, but it wasn’t released until February 7th), but helped shape it as well. The name of the album comes from a song that the group wrote for this record (which didn’t make the final cut) about how even though they are facing hardships, they are going to get through it together.
In addition to being inspired by personal turmoil, the band used a big chunk of their budget for this album to tour the world. The effects of their travels can be heard on obvious tracks like “Munich” and “Rainy Zurich”, and more subtly on songs like “1961”, which is about the Berlin Wall and how it divided the city.
In past records, the band has been able to grab big hits with songs like “You Found Me” and “How To Save A Life”, and they attempt the same with lead single “Heartbeat”. A respectable song, sure, but it lacks the punch and the staying power that they would like it to have. Sadly, ‘Scars and Stories’ seems to be full of attempts at radio singles, though none feel like they will make it very far.
This is not to say, however, that the album is not good. The Fray are excellent at what they do, and I still enjoyed listening through. Just because there aren’t any huge singles, doesn’t make an album bad. There are quite a few tracks on here that could do well on adult contemporary radio if the labels decide to go that route, so listen up for those. In fact, in my opinion, sometimes the band has had their best moments when they aren’t going full force, but rather toning things down for a moment. If you know their last albums well, think along the lines of “Ungodly Hour” and you’ve got the track “I Can Barely Say”, a powerful yet simple ballad.
Listen to: “The Fighter”, “Turn Me On”, “The Wind”, and “I Can Barely Say”