I first heard of The Fray when I was in college & someone did a music review of their song “How to Save a Life”. I wanted a copy of the song in my hands that SECOND… It was that good to me.
I’ve been a fan of their work ever since, and although I’ve missed every one of their Montreal shows so far, I still make sure to get all of their new albums; often times they’re on repeat for a month, or two, or until I find something else to obsess over.
Their latest record “Scars & Stories” was released on February 7th 2012. A month later? I’m still listening to it at least once a day. It’s THAT good. Lead singer Isaac Slade really shines on this latest CD; the band has given some of their most powerful work to date.
One of my favorites off the album is definitely their radio hit “Heartbeat” which gets you almost immediately with catchy beats and Slade’s unique vocals. It is, in my opinion, one of the best off Scars & Stories, and maybe in my top 5 all time favorite songs by The Fray (alongside How to Save a Life/Over My Head/You Found Me).
Not far behind is the slightly more mellow tune “The Wind” which caught my attention after a few listens. I didn’t really pay attention to it at first- probably because I was still trying to differentiate all the songs and make sense of them- but once I started knowing the album better I would hear the chorus and turn the volume up a little louder to get the full effect of Isaac’s vocal range.
Equally fantastic songs on the record include “48 to Go“; a sweet melody with an upbeat chorus, and another favorite of mine “Rainy Zurich” which is one of the most beautiful songs about love I’ve heard in quite some time: “I’ll keep you warm dancing in a downpour/And I’ll hold your body slowly turning/I’ll keep you warm dancing in a downpour/And breathe it in and take it off and soak our skin“… Goosebumps.
I checked out the DELUXE version of Scars & Stories but have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of any of their bonus tracks. I love the song “Maps” (originally by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs) however their cover isn’t one of the best I’ve heard out there. I’m not sure where the other two bonus tracks come from, but I think they are the only ones that I find myself skipping over when I’m listening to the complete album.
Other than that?
This album is some of The Fray’s best work. I’m pretty sure I could spend days listening to Isaac Slade. He is raw talent and I can’t wait until I finally have the opportunity to see him perform live.
4.5 out of 5 stars