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'Scars and Stories' offers more of the same sound

By Jessica Martin
On February 8, 2012

I've been a fan of the Fray ever since I heard their song "Over My Head" – also known as "Cable Car" – when it was released back in 2005. While I was never one of those hardcore fans that listened to every single one of their songs, knew all the band members names, and could tell you where they're currently performing, I enjoyed and knew the lyrics to a handful of their songs.

But after seeing them perform in Denver last May, I was reminded of why I enjoy them so much, and their new album, "Scars and Stories," did just the same.

Their singer, Isaac Slade, has a very unique sound to his voice, and their mixture of rock and classical piano proves for a sound that fits my musical taste.

The album opens up with the first single from the album,

"Heartbeat," and tells – like most of their music – of love and heartbreak. As do the tracks "The Fighter," "Turn Me On," "Run For Your Life," "I Can Barely Say," "Munich," and "Rainy Zurich." Meaning that 7 out of 12 tracks – more than half – are about love and heartbreak.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that that is a common subject to write music about – but over half the album? Come on.

I feel like the Fray tend to have their ups and downs.

I like that they tend to switch up their songs from track to track – switching between ballads and more upbeat songs throughout the entire album. It tends to turn into a rollercoaster of an album, always trying to keep you interested and not fall into a monotonous rut.

At the same time, however, I feel like their attempts to keep you out of that rut are just a bit shy. Whether it's a slower song or a song with a bit more pep in it, I feel like they constantly have the same sound. Not just between songs, but even between albums. The lyrics change, and the music changes a bit, but overall they keep the same sound.

I found myself not knowing which track was which, which is a big concern for me. I love an album that constantly keeps me interested.

I also feel like – not only on this album but all of them – that they're a bit repetitive in their lyrics. It's like they find a catchy line and then they beat it to a bloody pulp.  It's one thing to use a chorus throughout a song, but when you're saying the same line about six times in a row, it gets sort of boring.

Overall, "Scars and Stories" was an album that I enjoyed. It's a good easy listening album and The Fray really are a talented band. However, they're a bit monotonous and repetitive at times. I think they tend to be better background music than anything. It was a solid effort on their part, but I still want to see them change it up a bit.

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