How To Save A Life Review

artist: The Fray date: 05/01/2008 category: compact discs
The Fray: How To Save A Life
Release Date: Sep 13, 2005
Label: Sony/Epic
Genres: American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
All the songs on How To Save A Life sound almost exactly alike and also exactly like you would expect - sincere, melodic, authentic, and bereft of anything surprising or exciting.
 Sound: 8.7
 Lyrics: 8.9
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 8.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 7.6 
 Votes:
 91 
 Views:
 1,895 
reviews (10) 10 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: takenthecannoli, on may 01, 2008
7 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: I usually listen to harder music, and How To Save A Life is not harder music. However, this isn't really a bad thing. Obviously, any kind of music can be good, though some soft rock or similar musci can be sappy, whiny, poorly written and otherwise, and yes, this is very present with some Christian groups. However, I think The Fray nailed this one perfectly. Do not resist the temptation, buy it. No, it's not explicitly Christian at all, with only vague references to God in one or two songs. Even if you're not religious, this is a great album. // 9

Lyrics: I liked many of the lyrics, though sometimes they tend to blend with the rest of the album or else come out a tiny bit corny. Other than that, the album is lyrically great. The lead singer is average; nothing special, but some songs are better than others. All of them are definitely worth your money. // 8

Overall Impression: I really love this piano-driven rock that they've established. The best songs are probably tracks 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Really, I love pretty much everything about this album, sans the singer's sometimes-barely-passable vocal skills. Were this album lost/stolen/burnt/blown up/melted/hit head-on with a large, heavy item/spit on until it died, etc, I would definitely replace it. I'm glad I bought this, plus it's nice to listen to while I'm doing schoolwork. // 9

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overall: 9
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: kfong03, on january 08, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amazing sound. The Fray has a very unique sound that makes each song different and remarkable, you've got soft songs like "How To Save A Life", "Over My Head" then you've got heavier songs like "Little House", whilst other songs like "Dead Wrong" have memorable riffs that'll have you listening to them again and again. The guitar and drums in here aren't showy, the drums just keep beats, and the guitar gives good accompaniment for the main star, Issac Slade's vocals and piano, Slade has a low voice, but is melodic and soothing and makes listening to this album more enjoyable. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrics are poetic and at times touching, I sometimes find myself mouthing the words or even singing along without knowing it, Issac Slade's voice is good and they kind of help bring out the meaning of the lyrics to me, the songs cover a range of different things that are reflected with the band's life and is really touching. // 9

Overall Impression: I would most definitely buy a replacement for this album if I lost it, the music here is so unique it's really hard to find another band that makes this kind of music, I listen to punk, alternate rock mostly so this is a really good alternative for me once I'm tired of the distortion and crazy drumbeats. If you don't have it I'd really recommend this album to you, it's worth every dollar you pay for it. // 9

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overall: 9.7
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: geturledon, on march 02, 2006
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Fray is a very different and unique band. Nowadays, all we hear is screaming guitars and screamo singers. The instrument that you most listen to in The Fray is the piano. The piano has the melody and most of the riffs. Joe plays beautifully while he sings. In the background, bass, guitar, and drums are playing, but the main focus is Joe and his piano. Some of the best music is on "Over My Head (Cable Car)." // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics in this song really hit home and I can completely relate to them. I've been in bad relationships, gone through breakups, etc. But The Fray really puts the feelings into words ("But that's how it's got to be/ It's coming down to nothing more than apathy"). Some of their lyrics talk about growing up, breaking up, love, etc. // 10

Overall Impression: The Fray is definately up there. I love that they are completely different from the rap/metal/rock/pop stuff that we're all so bored with. The Fray have their own sound, their own perspectives, and speak in a way I can relate to. My favorite songs off this cd are "Over My Head (Cable Car)," "Hundred," "How To Save A Life," "Trust Me." But they are all great songs. If this CD were lost or stolen from me, I would definately buy it again (although it's already on my computer). // 10

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overall: 9
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: vhhendrixcrazy, on april 14, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The main instrument being played on the album is the piano. It's the piano that makes what the album is. The drums are terrific, so is the bass. The clean guitar goes well with the piano. Their style is similar to Coldplay's, where they have slow songs and a moderate beat. The majority of their songs are slow, with a few upbeat songs. They are one of those 'Easy-listening' artists. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are well-thought out. The songwriter definitely put some meaning into the lyrics. The verses sung by the pianist in several songs are catchy. For example, ("Let's rearrange/I wish you were a stranger I could disengage"). The singer's voice is mellow and he puts some emotion into the songs. He doesn't go over the top; his voice is just right on key. // 9

Overall Impression: The Fray are one of the best artists to listen to in this generation. They are mellow and they don't have that many upbeat songs. This is an album where you can listen to it at night and fall asleep to it. Some of the highlights on the album include 'She Is', 'How To Save A Life', and their single 'Over My Head (Cable Car).' Those are my favorites. I personally don't like 'Little House'. It sounds dark and gloomy and doesn't fit on the album. Overall, The Fray are definitely worth listening to. // 9

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overall: 9.7
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 26, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Fray have a unique sound that intertwines the piano and drum riffs together. The subtle guitar on most songs in playing a lot of rhythm but in certain songs stands out (such as: All At Once, Dead Wrong, and Little House). Issac Slade creates genuinly original piano riffs that go very well with his low voice. The flow of the CD is ok, but the second half befor the last two songs is kind of slow. Very easy to listen to from first song to last song. // 10

Lyrics: Here's where Slade really shows off his talents. His lyrics are devoted to his life and what it means to him. The single "Over My Head (Cable Car)" is a song written about a fight that him and his brother had that shook there relationship drastically and then the reconciliation of the family memebers. "How To Save A Life", the title track, is the most inspirational though. It is about Slade's experiences and a Big Brother in the Big Brother community program that was in his city. His partner was a crack addicted teen that Slade tried to straighten out. Slade does not have a very big range though. He never pushes the envelope thpugh and stays very strong throughout for having such a low toned voice. // 9

Overall Impression: The most well thought out songs on the album are: How To Save A Life, All At Once, Trust Me, and Look After You. I love how you can seriously tell that the narrator of te songs is trying to say something deeper than what is actually said. If you pay attention the message is always there and the band does a great job of finding a place for each sond in all the instruments. You can hear each instrument clearly and you can hear them all at the same time as well. It is the best CD to come out since the John Mayer Trio dropped "Try!". Denver should be proud. // 10

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overall: 9.7
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: Julesfromyo, on august 23, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Fray is an alternative band, hailing from Denver, Colorado; known for its unique sound with piano and guitar blending in the music with a mix of pop and alternative rock sounds to make up the frays meladys. The album How to Save a Life is under the Epic Sony label, and was released to the public on September 13, 2005. However the album did not recieve much attention until about six months later after MTV and VH1 had started to air their music video and hit single, "Over My Head." // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are very deep with topics addressed on songs such as confronting substance abuse, and fighting. The lyrics match the song clearly and the words in the songs lyrics never once sound out of place. The lryics were written over many years before the album was recorded as many debut albums do. // 10

Overall Impression: The Fray's album How To Save A Life cannot really be compared to any other sound on the current or past music scene, because they sound so unique and blend in serveral different styles. Although the whole album is easy to lisen and good I would have to recommend the first four songs on the CD out of the twelve which are She Is, Over My Head, How To Save A Life, All At Once. Likes: the unique sound, blended meledies, and lryics; dislikes: I don't have very many other than the last song trust me. Overall The Fray's first debut album should be considered a must have to any fan of alternative music, or like the Denver scene. // 9

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overall: 9.3
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: hush182, on january 04, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Their sound is like no other. It is a meloy blend between Alternative rock and pop. They have a very calming and melodic sound to their music. The thing that seperates them from a lot of pop rock bands is the piano they have in all of their songs. Coming out of the Denver music scene this band blew to the top of the charts with their hit single Over My Head (Cable Car). They also got a slot on Grey's Anatomy, where they made an exclusive vieo of How To Save A life. Overall I was very impressed and loved the sound of this band. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics, next to the impressive piano, where probably the best thing about this album. Ranging from girl problems and friends turning your back on you to drug abuse and fighting. These lyrics fit right in with the piano sound. And the singer is perfect. I can't really complain in this department. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a must have CD for any fan of alternative/pop rock music. And I myself can't wait until their next album. By far the most impressive songs on here are; Over My Head(Cable Car), She Is, How To Save A Life, All At Once, and Look After You. My favorite part from this album where the lyrics and how the piano complimented them. The only dislike I have is that this CD isn't as strong overall as many other CDs are from. It gets kind of boring at the end with a very long piano intro on one of the tracks that may just put you to sleep. I would definatly buy this album again if I where to misplace it or loose it. // 9

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overall: 7.3
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: Drew/Dawg, on february 26, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is one of the most unique bands I've quite honestly ever heard. Their music is in a way down beat but it isn't as slow and patient as someone like ColdPlay's. Their music has to do with relationships lost and I myself find it very strange home many different ways they can describe it. But then again once you start listening you can't seem to stop. This was a CD I got because my friend told me to get it but I had no idea that it would be one of my personal favorites later down the road considering it took me 2 months to open it out of its wrapping and listen to it. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics aren't as detailed I think as someone like My Chemical Romance or Red Jumpsuit Apparatus but I do think they are comparable in many ways for instance their ability to paint images in your head and keep them there through-out the song and being able to get the point and entire story line through to you in a mere few minutes. I haven't ever actually made an effort as to the musicians considering how much you are actually listening to the vocalist. The thought of the instruments had never even crossed my mind until I had thought about making a comment towards that subject. // 8

Overall Impression: I do think there are a few that would keep up with this music but it is great if you haven't heard this band before and will certainly keep you entertained. I think the most impressive songs would be She Is because I've practically lived everything they sing and How To Save A Life just for the impressive lyrics and way it captures your attention in the most curious ways. If I lost this CD I would try to steel it back from a friend before I went and bought it again. // 7

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overall: 7
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: GodsGood8812, on may 21, 2007
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: I popped this CD into my dads Corvette and we started driving. Very good music, also well produced. The bass wasn't too loud, the piano was extremely well done, but there are two major issues with "How to Save a Life." The first, which is arguable, is that the guitar is nothing special and it is barely noticable on most songs. The second is that you only have to listen to about three songs to hear the whole album. If you didn't catch that, all the songs sound the same! // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album were dissapointing. I thought they would be a bit more Christian considering their faith (and my faith too I might add), but they were the same old Simple Plan love lyrics you have to sit through on the radio every day. As for the signer's voice, I think he has a lot of potential. I can see him going solo someday, as long as he hires a songwriter. // 6

Overall Impression: This album was alright. Good music, but the lyrics didn't touch me like Christian lyrics are supposed to. The best songs on this album are Over My Head (Cable Car), How to save a life, and Heaven Forbid. If it were stolen, I have it ripped onto my Windows media player, so I wouldn't buy it again. Good for those who don't mind crappy guitar playing, meaningless lyrics, and songs that sound the same. God bless all of you. // 7

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overall: 8.3
How To Save A Life Reviewed by: iamaguitarfish, on january 09, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this album is quite hard to describe, the songs are slow and the genre is probably something in the indie zone but that's really all I can say. This is all good, I do however have one problem with the sound of this album and that is that all the tracks have a very simlar sound and, if you do not listen very carefully they all merge into one big song, namely "Oh you know, that one by the fray" In a follow up album I would like to see more variety to display different aspects of the band's talents. Finally this is a must have CD for anybody intrested in the piano as it displays excellent piano riffs however it does tend to neglect the other instruments somewhat. // 7

Lyrics: When I first listened to this album what imidiatly struck me was the singer's voice, it has a very unusual quality which to me makes him sound permamently drunk however for some strange reason this actually works. The lyrics are exceptional, they are very moving and very inteligently written. There is not much that I can suggest in the way of improvments except that possibly I would like to see some backing vocals in the next album to give it more depth and sound quality but over all this albums lyrics thoroughly deserve a 10 if not 11! // 10

Overall Impression: This album is quite hard to compare to any other as it has a very indervidual sound but it does come quite close to indie bands such as Grace or Blind Pew. It is not very exciting and would certainly not be a floor filler at a disco (apart from possibly a slow dance but, being single, I steer well clear of the dance floor at these times) however it is a very good album to listen to by yourself while relaxing or reading and I would definatly recomend it to a friend just don't bother learning to play it on the guitar and don't recomend playing it in your band unless you are a pianist as you may fade into the background. // 8

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