The Fray

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Feb 3, 2009
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 42
  2. Negative: 7 out of 42

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  1. LeviN
    Feb 19, 2009
    10
    The fray's second album is equal to its predecessor. But actually it's more defined then the other, the lyrics are better, more personal, and also musically they have improved
  2. JudsonS.
    Feb 4, 2009
    10
    what the heck! these reviewers are crap dont listen to them this new album is just completely amazing and has more than one good song unlike most popular artists with only like one good song The Fray have many great songs in this album and im sure once u listen to them (as long as u like the style) u will love them.
  3. WesM.
    Feb 6, 2009
    0
    Na chill out. Besides Nickelback, the ultimate proof to brandish at annoying rockists that mainstream rock is just as shiity as mainstream rap, dance, etc.
  4. KhanW
    Mar 3, 2009
    9
    Don't get why these critics don't like it. It's beautiful, full of yearning and melancholy. The melodies soar. I think people don't know how to hear earnestness anymore.
  5. chrism
    Feb 10, 2009
    2
    Like their last effort, this Album just doesnt stand out. Its almost impossibly dull and safe. While the lyrics, at times, suggest they once had some sort of hedonistic life, the tedious nature of the songs makes you doubt the reality of it.
  6. danH.
    Feb 5, 2009
    10
    This is a great album. it's an honest attempt at finishing what they started in 2005. the melodies, as dramatic and minor keyed as they are still hit the right notes and tingle the spine the way they did four years ago. it's a strong album, the critics never gave it a chance in the first place. Negative from the start. it's a pity really.
  7. NathanO
    Feb 12, 2009
    9
    This album is incredible. The only reason I gave a 9 instead of 10 is because their last CD is a little better than this one. Don't listen to the critics. This Is a great effort.
  8. JayB
    Feb 19, 2009
    9
    Great album. Only 1 or 2 songs out of the whole thing that are bad, the rest are good. The music is amazing but the lyrics could be worked on. Overall a great album.
  9. KennethM.
    Feb 4, 2009
    10
    The lyrics are profound and relatable, the music is beautiful... I've noticed that the critics who gave this album a poor view are the critics who were never going to give it a fair shot in the first place.
  10. HaydenS.
    Feb 7, 2009
    10
    Dont listen to these reviewers they dont know crap about music This CD is just so amazing The Best soft rock music ive ever heard well really just the best music ie ever heard 10/10.
  11. Charlene
    Mar 11, 2009
    8
    At first listen it was quite mediocre til i actually listened to the lyrics and it's beats have caught on and now i can't stop listening to it.
  12. mattd
    Mar 20, 2009
    7
    The lyrics were great, the music was beautiful, but the reason the critics were low scoring was because the album lacks any passion, its kinda empty and souless.
  13. StuartM
    Mar 31, 2009
    0
    Their first album was a little too pop for me. I liked How To Save a Life and Over My Head a lot but their new album is trash. Every song sounds mass produced and lacks that hint of Alternative rock. This album reminds me of dare I say it the Jonas Brothers. I hope they have fun playing to middle school students.
  14. David
    Mar 9, 2009
    0
    R U SRIUS!?? I'm surprised these guys aren't being heralded as the next Beatles.
  15. JakeH
    Jul 9, 2009
    8
    It took me more than one listen to decide that I like it, and it may not be as good as How To Save A Life, but it definitely grows on you. The songs stick in my head now, and I can't wait to hear them played live. If you liked How To Save A Life, for sure check out this album.
  16. RyanC
    Mar 13, 2009
    9
    A great album, the lyrics are very though through and emotional. Musically, the album is a huge improvement over How To Save A Life. The Fray have also pushed some of their boundaries with their sound on this album,contrasting from the soaring, emotional lyrics in "Never Say Never" to and the dark lyriced, dark sounding, electro theme of "We Build Then We Break". Overall, great album.
  17. JamieM
    Apr 17, 2009
    10
    The albums first track mixes The Frays 'How to Save a Life' sound, with a more upbeat, and pop based rhythm heard on tracks such as 'She Is', the end result? Syndicate. Followed by another great song, Absolute, the album appears to be more upbeat than its predecessor, however, the third track, 'You Found Me', returns to The Fray's roots, with a slow The albums first track mixes The Frays 'How to Save a Life' sound, with a more upbeat, and pop based rhythm heard on tracks such as 'She Is', the end result? Syndicate. Followed by another great song, Absolute, the album appears to be more upbeat than its predecessor, however, the third track, 'You Found Me', returns to The Fray's roots, with a slow introduction, that gradually increases into an intense ending. Then, 5 tracks in, we are hit with the highlight of the album, 'Never Say Never', with memorable lyrics, an amazing chorus, and an ending which truly represents The Fray. Their second album shows new opportunities for the band. Despite people claiming 'The Fray' is identical to 'How to Save a Life', this doesn't make the album any less better, why fix something that's not broken, and in my opinion, The Fray is definitely not broken. Expand
  18. Apr 12, 2011
    8
    This album is not as epic as there first in my opinion but it comes very very close. I recommend a listen to anyone that hasn't heard it yet and if you get a chance to see them live definitely do!
  19. Mar 19, 2012
    5
    Very disappointing. "How To Save A Life" had beautiful ballads, like "Hundred" and "Look After You". I felt real emotion in that album. This self-titled release seems like a poor copy of their debut. It doesn't feel honest or authentic anymore, just tired and bland, like they were trying to recreate their old songs in order to gain the same commercial success. Standout tracks for me areVery disappointing. "How To Save A Life" had beautiful ballads, like "Hundred" and "Look After You". I felt real emotion in that album. This self-titled release seems like a poor copy of their debut. It doesn't feel honest or authentic anymore, just tired and bland, like they were trying to recreate their old songs in order to gain the same commercial success. Standout tracks for me are "Absolute" and "Happiness". Most others, like "Where The Story Ends" and "Ungodly Hour" are nothing but forgettable. Expand
  20. Sep 30, 2013
    8
    The album is laid out in a way that makes it worth listening to straight through, and sort of expresses some of the confusion in emotion that the band probably had at this period when trying to make a follow up album for a great first album. There are a few amazing songs in this album, it contains "you found me" as a popular track to get a lot of popular radio air time, but also the songThe album is laid out in a way that makes it worth listening to straight through, and sort of expresses some of the confusion in emotion that the band probably had at this period when trying to make a follow up album for a great first album. There are a few amazing songs in this album, it contains "you found me" as a popular track to get a lot of popular radio air time, but also the song "Happiness" which is a standalone great song, satisfying end to the album, yet not laid out in a way to gain radio popularity so no one can hear it. Overall, the emotion is a bit less there and the theme kind of switches around, but it is musically a brilliant album, better than the first as the young band naturally got better. Expand
  21. Aug 1, 2014
    9
    I'm not reviewing the deluxe edition because Heartless is Kanye West's joint.

    Syndicate (9) This song is really great because I can connect with it because of the associated lyrics with it. The instrumentals have good gains and the Piano makes the track better because it is what the Fray is known for. Absolute (9.25) This song has great builds for the listener with some great lyrics,
    I'm not reviewing the deluxe edition because Heartless is Kanye West's joint.

    Syndicate (9) This song is really great because I can connect with it because of the associated lyrics with it. The instrumentals have good gains and the Piano makes the track better because it is what the Fray is known for.

    Absolute (9.25) This song has great builds for the listener with some great lyrics, especially in the beginning. The chorus is the best part in it. Near the end of the song, the song slows down and builds right back up. I really like listening to this track loud. I think they should have made a music video for this track.

    You Found Me (9.25) I believe this was the first single on the album and really made it my favorite album by The Fray. It has overtones of Depression and Religion in it which really can make you BiPolar when you listen to it depending on how you feel. My favorite line is 'losing her, the only who's ever known, who I am, who I'm not, who I want to be.' The chorus goes in and out very well and the ending of the song really accentuates the Piano well and how he talks about how he is ignored by someone he cares about and how it hurts him. It really makes me love this song because I can connect with it.

    Say When (9) I love how this song builds in the beginning and throughout it for that matter. The Piano in the middle adds a great element to the piece. The most interesting part of this song is how the tempo of the lyrics speed up with the instruments and at the end he is screaming and the instruments are very loud and then the song proceeds to the chorus.

    Never Say Never (9) This song is really great for someone who needs hope for something they care about and didn't go their way. The whole 'younger now than we were before' is a great line I feel. This song has more Piano than the other songs on the album up to this point which really gives it a different feel like The Fray wants to change the mood of the album.

    Where The Story Ends (8.5) Another Piano heavy piece which describes probably who he cares about who is going through a tough time. I really like this song because after all the energy of the first group of songs, The Fray probably wants you to relax a little bit.

    Enough For Now (9) This song has a great melody and message. It is very soothing and adds violins into the picture which was really cool I thought. My favorite line that alot of people can identify with I feel is 'sixty years of sorrow, he got five or six of bliss.'

    Ungodly Hour (8.5) This song really shows that the album is wrapping up and is great to listen to by the fire like on Christmas or something. My favorite part of the song is the Piano solo in the middle end of the song followed by the electric guitar solo you don't expect will pop up at all in the song.

    We Build Then We Break (8.5) This is a good song that speeds up the tempo from the song before and they throw interesting instruments in the track subtly. The vocals are good and the drums have a good little simple beat. The electric guitar in the middle end is a really good addition to the piece and the long notes Issac holds kind of shows his range.

    Happiness (9.25) This song really shows the beauty of acoustic guitar. I guess I think of John Lennon when I think about happiness even though he beat his wife. It's not a number in a bank, all it is getting what you want internally. I guess it really shows that we shouldn't judge other people if they are different than ourselves because maybe they have what they want. Or maybe they are just ignorant and think they are happy.
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Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. The Fray's sophomore release picks up where How to Save a Life left off, reprising the same blend of piano-led ballads and midtempo pop/rock that helped establish the band in 2005.
  2. 50
    The Denver foursome is spectacularly anonymous: poignant enough to bring out the waterworks, but generic enough not to get in the way of someone else’s story--making them the perfect soundtrack for prime-time melodrama.
  3. Life had a handful of standouts, but follow-up The Fray is all blah, all the time: more minor-key melodies, more dreary tempos, more of singer-pianist Isaac Slade's spiceless sore-throat croon.