Scars & Stories Image
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length album for the Colorado alternative rock band was produced by Brendan O'Brien.
  • Record Label: Epic
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, American Trad Rock
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Feb 23, 2012
    80
    What sets the Fray apart is that they use their music to tell other people's stories in literate, compelling ways.
  2. Feb 16, 2012
    76
    Many of the dozen songs achieve the kind of meatiness that the group approached tentatively on The Fray.
  3. While they don't throw any curveballs or stir the pot too much, the band definitely stays true to their core, crafting yet another memorable piano pop-rock record with these stories.
  4. Feb 8, 2012
    60
    O'Brien helps them articulate their ideas, giving them definition and muscle, attributes that are appealing when the songs lack distinct hooks.
  5. Mar 21, 2012
    60
    A 12 song pop rock record aimed at pleasing your overzealous ex-girlfriend from college more than, say, the girl you finally deemed cool enough to settle down with.
  6. 58
    Even producer Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) can't save Scars & Stories from generic TV-soundtrack mediocrity.
  7. Feb 14, 2012
    25
    Ultimately, these mid-tempo, mid-volume tunes flounder in mediocrity.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 19, 2012
    10
    An amazing album. The critics alwayd s bash The fray, and I dont know why. They make beautiful music. This album is great. My favorite song is heartbeat. Expand
  2. Mar 11, 2012
    10
    I just realized the poor reviews this is getting on here. Scars and Stories is a beautiful album with a deep message in each of the emotional, dramatic, and heartfelt tracks. I don't understand what the critics are listening to but Scars and Stories is another smash hit by The Fray. The Fray will always and forever be my favorite band due to their consistently heartwarming albums. They continue to stick their roots with more graceful piano interludes along with a more strong and aggresive sound. Scars and Stories is by far the best album of 2012. Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    The Fray once again coming to the party with this well done album their evident talent showcased with a great tracklist from the spiritual "be still' to the dramatic "the fighter'' also the soft tune "rainy Zurich" they show once again why they are a great rock band I don't get all this hate from other critics did they terrorize a city somewhere?.All i know is this is a solid album to say its good would be an inexplicable understatement best album so far in 2012 Expand
  4. Aug 1, 2014
    8
    I am reviewing the normal version and not the deluxe because I slant reviews negatively if the songs are not the artists own creative work.

    Heartbeat (9.25) The lead track on this album is really great. A love song that has very powerful instrumentals and vocals. The reason why I gave this song such a high score is because of how identify with quite a bit of the lyrics. When the chorus hits is the best part. Overall, the song does a great job of promoting love between individuals.

    The Fighter (8) I think the fluctuations in the delivery of the vocals are one of the most interesting parts in the song. It has a alright hook in the chorus and the Piano gives the song a different flair than most alternative bands that rely on their lead playing guitar.

    Turn Me On (7.5) This song reminds me of a more complex version with better instrumentals of one of The Beatles simple jingles. The guitar riffs and vocals are pretty standard along with how the song kind of just repeats the same message but It's not bad and I would not turn it off.

    Run For Your Life (9) This song was one of the songs I played alot when I was at very low points in my life. I feel it describes how he follows a woman he loves and how she rejects him. The whole 'you can only hold back the river so long' is one of the most powerful lines in the song I feel. The dynamic Piano really accentuates The Fray's talent to change the music scene away from just guitar to a broader range of instruments.

    The Wind (8.5) This song has a soothing melody with instruments and the vocals are great I think. It is a great song that is relaxing but it is an upbeat relaxing. I really like how the instrumentals get louder within the chorus and the lyrics have overtones of love.

    1961 (8) This song gives off a little bit of a jazz vibe and I like the change. When the vocals get more dynamic is when I really start to like the song. The Piano in the background is always good like usually and makes it subtle since it's in the background. My favorite line of the song is 'I will be with you until the end.' Near the middle end of the song, the lyrics are delivered a little different for awhile which is a neat change in the overall melody of the song.

    I Can Barely Say (7.5) I like this song because it relies more heavily on the Piano which I like better because it is known as a humble instrument while the Guitar is known as an arrogant instrument because you can't carry Grand Piano's around with you. The whole I Can Barely Say lyric is the best part when he shows off his vocals I think. But overall, nothing special that caught my ear but I couldn't do any better.

    Munich (9.5) I think this is the best song on the album and it really shows the power of proper instrumentals in a song. They talk about Black and White and I firmly believe in yin and yang in my everyday life, not to mention it is one of the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard. The harmonious choir part of this song really adds the defining element on why I gave this song such a high score and doesn't make it too repetitive.

    Here We Are (7.5) This song kind of reminds me of Turn Me On earlier in this review, it's good but nothing really sticks out other than the interesting guitar solo kind of in the middle of the song even though it is short.

    48 To Go (7.5) This song has a real calming effect for me and really great instrumentals. The lyrics in this song are really good because it talks about traveling and seeing the world. The keyboards in the end with the little bell ringing is cool as well.

    Rainy Zurich (9) This song is my one of my other favorite songs on the album because of the lyrics and how they really correlate with my life. The most powerful lines in the songs are 'Maybe I'll find you, maybe I won't' and 'You are what I never knew I needed.' Because all men get old and die.

    Be Still (7.5) I think this song is really good and shows the importance of choosing a proper track selection when you put out an album. This song is really good for winding down the album and maybe would be a good track to listen to before you go to bed. But it is a little depressing to me to be honest.
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  5. Apr 26, 2012
    5
    If someone had opportunity to know The Fray from Nashville, Tennessee it was probably by the single "How To Save A Life". If however on the third album - "Scars & Stories" you seek for it's successor, so you've mistaken address. Without doubt the singer has an interesting timbre - you can hear it even in the second, after the "Heartbeat" single - "Run For Your Life" or lethargic "I Can Barely Say", but the rest of the compositions are scarcely correct. Expand