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The Fray



Joe King – rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Isaac Slade – lead vocals, piano

Dave Welsh – lead guitar

Ben Wysocki – drums


Colorado has been talked about a lot here of late, but let’s draw the attention from what is going on there to something that comes out of the state for the world to take in. Forming in 2002, The Fray has made the music journey including a double platinum record. They released their first EP in 2002 with the second coming the very next year. In 2004 the band signed to Epic Records and began the work on their major label full length release. 2005 seen that such release. How to Save a Life arrived in September and produced several high charting singles. Next on the list is their self-titled album which arrived in 2009 and debuted at #1. After a Christmas EP the band released their third record Scars and Stories in 2012. The Fray as surfaced once again in 2014 with Helios. The album features 11 tracks and lasts 42 minutes. They get the record going with “Hold My Hand” which offers up emotional vocals and lyrics right off the bat. The music is uplifting and catchy which will have you not only sticking around, but coming back. It’s a superb opening number. “Love Don’t Die” is as infectious as you can get. I love the tunes as well as the lyrics. The clean vocals just add to the list of things on this record, but I didn’t even talk about the backing vocals chiming in on this one. I had a hard time getting past this number and might have worn out the back button. “Give It Away” is another catchy number with loads to offer. They add some extras into the mix while changing up some of the normal instruments as well as the main one…the vocals. There are backing vocals flying all over the place while the lead set is laying line after line on you. “Closer To Me” opens up like a familiar tune, but changes it up with its own tunes and words. It’s a decent number, but it’s hard to keep pace with the first three numbers. There are spots that I like, but I feel it will just get lost in the shuffle. “Hurricane” slows the album down, if you can really say that. The track still rolls along at a nice pace, but it has that slower mentality. The vocals are okay, nothing special or fancy while they offer up some nicely written lyrics. The music is also decent. “Keep On Waiting” continues with the slower numbers. The vocals are really on display during this one while music skates along. I feel that this is another middle of the road track that offers up a nice sound, but will get lost in the shuffle like a couple others. “Our Last Days” gets a little flair back into the music with the addition of some piano play. It’s a bit more catchy than the other number right before it and keeps you around for a while. The vocals are a bit cloudy in spots though and hard to hear. It’s an okay tune. “Break Your Plans” slows the album way down for a heartfelt song that will have you hook. The vocals are as passionate as you can get while the music sweeps along behind giving them a great platform to work with. The vocals do get a little squeaky in spots, but I kind of like the unpolished sound sometimes and this time it works. I can see a lot of people hanging onto this one tight. “Wherever This Goes” is a slow and simple track that offers up fabulous vocals and well written lyrics. The lyrics can be followed easily and the backing vocals that pop up from time to time enhance the song perfectly. I can see many people hanging on this number as it is silky smooth and catchy. “Shadow And A Dancer” keeps the album super slow with another passionate offering. There are some vocals in this one, but it seemed to me that it was more about the music this time. Unfortunately I feel that this is a number that can be skipped. The album wraps up with “Same As You” which is another slow tune with loads of passion and emotion. It again offers up a nice number that I can see people getting into, but with that said I think its one that you either love or don’t, there is no in between with this one. Overall this is a great album with flash and catchiness. I love several of the tracks on the album as they can be played and played without them getting old, one of which is “Love Don’t’ Die.” The vocals are super clear and the backing vocals just add to the mix. They seem to hit the nail on the head every time with the backing vocals. The mixture of the tunes is also top notch. They rarely repeat items on the record and actually add in extra instruments and sounds throughout the record. The poise that you hear on the record is that of veterans and they carefully offer up tremendous songs that they can be proud of as well as letting the world enjoy each and every one of them.


Rating: 8 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Love Don’t Die, Give It Away, Break Your Plans


Track List:

  1. Hold My Hand
  2. Love Don’t Die
  3. Give It Away
  4. Closer To Me
  5. Hurricane
  6. Keep On Waiting
  7. Our Last Days
  8. Break Your Plans
  9. Wherever This Goes
  10. Shadow And A Dancer
  11. Same As You


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