Sound — 6
The Fray, hit big with "How To Save A Life", left an impression on many people. Many individuals found their music beyond inspiration. Popular among TV show Scrubs and few others, they move forward onto their third album. The band here has looked forward and decided to tour the world for inspiration and wrote 70 songs. They cut this to 17 and 12 for the mainstream sale. The iTunes Pre-order bonus tracks contained a large 5 extra tracks. The 12 track album accomplishes nothing new and sounds like any other of their album. The 17 track album is new for The Fray with even one song "Ready Or Not" containing a new attempt at vocals. The review will rate the iTunes pre-order version overall. The start to "Heartbeat" begins with a crash that leads the listener to believe a new sound will come from the fray. The sounds is developed but nothing new. The un-textual piano intro is developed into a catchy intro with new ideas following forward. I would describe this album as borderline boring on some tracks. The bonus tracks are brilliant, it starts with the very catchy "Maps" which sounds very classic with the chime intro and basic sound. The song does end repetitive but not overly repetitive. It the goes into "Ready Or Not" and were introduced to a new sound for The Fra, a sound I like personally. The song does not bore you and I grow to love it. As it finishes we move into the meaningful "Why" which follows the album but I feel is one of the more catchier songs, soon the two stand out songs for lyrical reasons, "Boulder To Birmingham" and "Streets Of Philadelphia", start and they hit the listener Fray style just as "How To Save A Life" does.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are meaningful and you can tell Isaac Slade has a emotional connection to the songs. Isaac Slade's powerful vocals shine on this album and the bonus tracks show us how versatile they are. "Ready Or Not" provides a half rap, and "Maps" provides a more pop like singing style. It also features Emmylou Harris on "Boulder To Birmingham" and maybe "Ready Or Not" (this is not confirmed but contains female vocals relatively similar in style). The new vocal stance in the bonus tracks is definitely impressive.
Overall Impression — 7
There are a few songs that remind me of other artists. For example Snow Patrol's "Eyes Open" era in the composition of some songs and a few of the songs remind me of Coldplay's recent sound, but these comparisons are very forced and require a focus specifically. Really I love the individualism of this album from other artists. The one thing which keeps me coming back. Most impressive songs for me? well I'm afraid personally it demonstrates their 70 to 12 selection process wasn't for me as my top 5 in order on album are: "Heartbeat", "The Fighter", "Maps", "Ready Or Not" and "Why", In which 3 of those are bonus tracks. But I love the powerful vocals and their return and the development of their sound. I hate the repetitiveness. In a sentence? "Good, but not great" Looking for something new from The Fray? Don't buy. If you like The Fray try before you buy and aim to get the iTunes pre-order if you can, it will be worth the extra money if you pay it!