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How To Save A Life - The Fray

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Genre: Rock / Artist: The Fray / Audio CD released 2007-02-19 at RCA

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      26.02.2009 21:43
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      dubious

      I don't know if anyone else was sick to death of hearing 'How To Save A Life' on UK radio in 2007. The first time I heard the track I was not moved, then by the third listen I was getting it. By the hundreth listen I was fed up and wanted to hear something new from them. This album obviously has that song on and a few others...

      Who are they:

      US group, with a melanchonic feel about their music, predominantly guitar based.

      On this album:

      The title track is by far and away the highlight on here. Slade's voice is just pitched so perfectly as he delivers the fragile lyrics. He sounds broken in parts and whimsical in others. It is hard to extract one particular emotion from the song because it is so many things all at once. I do know that the track is highly original and effective emotionally. It can leave you feeling withdrawn and distraught yet there is something positive in it too, his voice seems to capture a sense of 'better things to come'.

      Not as good, but getting there is 'Over My Head' which benefits from a rousing chorus and an enthused set of vocals. Whilst in lacks the emotional charge of 'How To Save A Life,' it stands on its own with pride and will resonate well if you enjoyed the other song.

      The bad news is none of the other songs come in sounding half as good as those two. The somewhat bleak 'Heaven Forbid' fails to ignite the senses and seems to plod along with a dreary bored vocal, with only 'All At Once' coming anywhere sort of close, with a brisker sounding vocal and stronger melody.

      As the album progresses you feel like you are hearing the same kind of tune over and over, somewhat dirgey and not very inspiring.

      Overall:

      13 tracks, the album spurned just two singles which is rather telling. Even the artwork is drab.

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        31.01.2009 20:18
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        =====================
        Who are The Fray?
        ======================

        The band which was formed in Denver, it was formed by Isaac Slade and Joe King and together with two other members they created their first album How To Save A Life which earned them a few Grammy's. They are releasing their second album in February of this year, is it going to live up to the hype surrounding How To Save A Life, take a look at my review on this first album.

        ======================
        Track 1- She Is
        ======================

        This is a great start to the album, the song She Is, is a great opening track with a great beat throughout and Slade's vocals are brilliant and strong throughout. He does have a very unique voice, it's one of those voices that has a very weird sound to it, but with the right songs it sounds brilliant, this track is no exception.

        The song is about what I'm sure a lot of people have suffered with, looking for the right person, but then realising she is the person who has always been in front of you, a beautiful track, not my favourite, there does seem to be something within the track that makes it quite annoying to listen to over and over again, you can listen to the track once, but that's about it.

        Final Opinion: 7/10 (It can become a quite annoying track)

        Lyrics: "Do not get me wrong I cannot wait for you to come home
        For now you're not here and I'm not there, it's like we're on our own
        To figure it out, consider how to find a place to stand
        Instead of walking away and instead of nowhere to land"

        ======================
        Track 2- Over My Head
        ======================

        I really do like this track, the video always sticks in my head, they got a young boy who looks slightly like the lead singer Isaac Slade and he mouths along to the song. A great very catchy song that will really stick in your head. I believe this was the second track to be released off the album, so I'm sure most of you would have heard it already.

        For me it's in great contrast to the previous song, the song you should be able to listen to over and over again, it's catchy and enjoyable alternative rock song that I'm sure a lot of people will love. There is a downside to it though, I have no idea what it is but after a lot of listens, I am bored of this track now, it's good, but it just gets quite boring after a while, Slade doesn't really have a voice you can listen to for days.

        Final Opinion: 8/10 (It should get 10/10 however the track is now quite boring to me)

        Lyrics: "Let's rearrange
        I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
        Just say that we agree and then never change
        Soften a bit until we all just get along
        But that's disregard"

        ======================
        Track 3: How To Save A Life
        ======================

        I love this track, this is the track that made me love this band, it starts with a great piano piece and then Slade's unique vocals join in, the whole song just sounds amazing, I think in the bridge, when the drum beat joins it really does sound like a brilliant produced song.

        I think his vocals in this track are so much better than in the previous two songs, they are still not the best vocals I've ever heard but they are easy to listen to and with this song they just sounds amazing and just works with the brilliant lyrics.

        A song I still find myself listening to all these years later, I just love it, the lyrics are meaningful and the whole song is just beautiful, well worth checking out on Youtube or Itunes.

        Final Opinion: 10/10 (A fantastic track, one of the best I've heard from this band, probably the best)

        Lyrics: "Where did I go wrong?
        I lost a friend,
        Somewhere along in the bitterness,
        And I would have stayed up with you all night,
        Had I known how to save a life?"

        ======================
        Track 4: All At Once
        ======================

        A great track which follows brilliant from How To Save A Life, Slade's voice is quirky and brilliant as always, and it just sounds brilliant with everything put together. It's no where near as good as How To Save A Life, but if that wasn't on the album, this would be the best track yet.

        It's very upbeat and modern and sounds very good, the only problem I have with it is it seems to have the same message as She Is had, seeing what is right in front of you, I hate artists that don't put diversity into their album, there is so much they could have talked about but they chose pretty much the same thing. A good track, well worth checking out.

        Final Opinion: 9/10 (Another good song, but it sounds too alike to other tracks)

        Lyrics: "Looking for the right one you line up the world to find,
        Where no questions cross your mind,
        But she won't keep on waiting for you without a doubt,
        Much longer for you to sort it out"

        ======================
        Track 5: Fall Away
        ======================

        I do believe this is the track we used to call Whine Central, Isaac's voice does not sound good in this song, it's so whiny and boring that I dare you not to fall asleep during it. The chorus is very good, however the song as a whole is very boring, and just doesn't really fit with the rest of the album.

        I think it would have been a brilliant song, if he hadn't have wined his way through the track, everything else sounds alright, but if I go on what I usually look at, aka the vocals, it's awful.

        Final Opinion: 4/10 (Too whiny, doesn't sound brilliant)

        Lyrics: "Something I've done that I can't outrun,
        Maybe you should wait,
        Maybe you should run,
        Something you've said that can't,
        You've fall away,
        From your past,
        It's following you"

        ======================
        Track 6: Heaven Forbid
        ======================

        His voice is a bit better on this track, however it is a very boring song I do believe worse than the previous one, I really think this is the opposite to the other tracks, okay vocals, but the rest of the song is just pure awful, it's just all very boring and not put together very well, just an okay song, not one to talk about.

        Quite a weak track on the album I really expected much and if I remember rightly, I think the rest of the album follows in the same way, the song is great if you want some way to go to sleep. Not fun.

        Final Opinion: 4/10 (Another week track, it's very boring)

        Lyrics: "Heaven forbid,
        You end up alone,
        And don't know why,
        Hold on tight,
        Wait for tomorrow,
        You'll be alright"

        ======================
        Track 7: Look After You
        ======================

        Feel like giving up this review about now, another just okay track, I do believe that after the first few tracks the album just begins to fade away, the little oh oh oh he does in the chorus just gets on my nerves slightly.

        I think the song is probably one of the weakest on the album, Isaac doesn't have the best falsetto and he attempts to show off his vocal range on this track and for me it doesn't work brilliantly well, I wouldn't find myself putting the track onto my IPod for sure, it's just an okay track, one of the weakest on the album, I have heard a lot better from this band and was expecting a lot more.

        Final Opinion: 4/10 (Another week track, it's not boring but it is painful to listen to in places)

        Lyrics: "If I don't say this now I will surely break
        As I'm leaving the one I want to take
        Forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait
        My heart has started to separate"

        ======================
        Track 8: Hundred
        ======================

        The song starts off quite slow, it's quite a while before the vocals join, and guess what, this album is worse than an Emo CD, I feel damn depressed right about now, another whining and boring track, not brilliantly sung, not brilliantly put together, just not an enjoyable track to listen to. Again a weak track, probably the worst on the album so far, mainly because it was in a long line of awful and painful tracks.

        Do not check this track out, it is not enjoyable to listen to, Isaac really does have a great voice but when he attempts to hold notes it sounds like he's whining like a baby, it doesn't sound very good, especially with the music that he's singing over.

        Final Opinion: 3/10 (Now I feel depressed, not a good track, I can see what they were attempting but it doesn't work)

        Lyrics: "The how I can't recall
        But I'm staring at what once was the wall
        Separating east and west
        Now they meet amidst the broad daylight"

        ======================
        Track 9- Vienna
        ======================

        Now this is one of the songs I remember liking, It's the sort of track that takes a couple of listens before loving it. If you listen to it how I have listened to it, after those previous tracks,I think you'll find yourself crying, and not for a good reason.

        It is a more up beat track than the previous ones, but it does follow the same boring slow and whining sound that they were going for but it does seem to work, whilst I'm listening to it now however, I'm craving for a bit of rock, it's a good song, but please don't listen to it after listening to the rest of the awful tracks first.

        Final Opinion: 7/10 (A good track, however it follows in a long line of the same tracks and by this time you feel like pulling your hair out)

        Lyrics: "The days last one way ticket train pulls in,
        We smile for the casual closure capturing,
        There goes the downpour,
        There goes my fare thee well"

        ======================
        Track 10- Dead Wrong
        ======================

        Kill me, Kill me now, whine, whine, whine. Well I'm sure you can tell what I think of this track, it's exactly what I was expecting, just like the previous 5 songs, boring, sung not brilliantly and just quite a boring and not brilliant to say the least track. I think by this point of the album, it could have been How To Save A Life Here and I would still slate it.

        It might be a brilliant track but for me, it doesn't have anything, the lyrics arn't brilliant, nothing shines and it becomes quite painful to listen to.

        Final Opinion: 3/10 (Not a good track, I am not pleased with the album to start with)

        Lyrics: "If only I knew what I know,
        I'd make it a point to say so,
        To everyone that got me here,
        And everyone that made it"

        ======================
        Track 11- Little House
        ======================

        This is one of the rockier tracks on the album, it's not as painful as other ones, but he does have the tendency to think he can hold long notes, but then it becomes excruiently painful, it is not as bad as some but it is still a weak track compared to the first 4 tracks.

        I think at this point within the album, every time I hear Isaac's voice I feel like pulling my hair out as even though it's good on some songs, most of the time it doesn't work very well and it just sounds quite painful to listen to.

        Final Opinion: 6/10 (Not as bad as some but still a weak track)

        Lyrics: "She doesn't look,
        She doesn't see,
        Opens up for nobody,
        Figures out,
        She figures out, narrow line, She can't decide,
        Everything short of suicide"

        ======================
        Track 12- Trust Me
        ======================

        This sounds like it should be a good song, Isaac keeps to the short notes, and doesn't carry them for a long period of time, which usually results in quite a painful sound. I wasn't expecting much from this track, but it's one of the best on the album for a long time.

        It still however falls into the category of boring, there is nothing new and exciting here, it doesn't have something great written on it, it is just a filler track in my opinion, it's pleasant to listen to, but it isn't something that you'll remember.

        Final Opinion: 8/10 (An okay track, a bit boring, but it is better than most of the ones on the album)

        Lyrics: "Looking for something I've never seen,
        Alone and I'm in between,
        The place that I'm from and the place that I'm in,
        A city I've never been"

        ======================
        My Opinion
        ======================

        It's finally over, I have to say, I have never sat through an album like that before. I usually find the songs weak and that's what makes me give it quite a low rate, however The Fray's problem was their lead singer in my opinion, he has one of those voices that doesn't just have two sides, love or hate. You can like it on some songs, but hate it on others and for me, this is what happens with Isaac Slade's voice, on some songs he sounds brilliant but on most he sounds painful and for me it just doesn't work.

        The Fray are very talented though, I can't take credit away from that, the reason why I hate this album is just because most of the songs just didn't sound right to me, I'm only one person so please take a listen before you decide. I think tracks like How To Save A Life are brilliant, magnificent even.

        I remember when How To Save A Life came out, everyone fell in love with it, I still love it now, I still play it when I can. Usually at this point in the review, I will listen to the tracks I like whilst writing the main opinion part, at the moment, I have Nickelback blaring into my ears to get Issac's voice out of my mind, I don't think I could even deal with How To Save A Life at this point in time.

        The album is not very original in my opinion, if like me you like diversity on your albums, you like to have a rock song one minute but the next track with be a slow ballad, some artists can do this and this is what their albums pretty much consist of, however The Fray is pretty much all the same. I do believe they fall under the category of alternative rock, and they don't seem to do well for this category in my opinion. The songs are all the same pretty much, there are some, mainly the ones that they have released that are brilliant, however the rest bored me to tears, literally.

        One thing I'm not happy about is I've just pre-ordered their new album which is out at the start of February and I'm now thinking of cancelling it, their new track is good, however is it going to be the same as this suck fest, am I going to just like a few tracks and is Isaac's voice just going to get on my nerves anymore, think I'm going to see if I can cancel the order now.

        What might be obvious is I have had this album on my shelf for a few years, when I brought it I was not very impressed and I still have the same opinion now all these years later, I really was expecting something amazing after Over My Head and How To Save A Life but instead I got this suck fest.

        ======================
        Should You Buy The Album?
        ======================

        No, I think it's very weak, however I have to say my review is one of the only negative reviews I have read about this album, I think it really depends on what kind of music you like, please don't just decide to buy the album because you like two of the songs, you will probably hate all the others. I'm sure Youtube houses all the songs on the album, so you might as well check out a few of them on there. I would say, it's a waste of money, however make you own decision.

        ========
        Prices
        ========

        You can now buy this for just under £5 on Play.com and Amazon, I would check out EBay as this is a bit too much for what you are getting.

        Thank you for reading.

        (C) Kirsty

        I actually do have a question, do you prefer the opinion part as it's done above or with sub headings like my recent reviews. Trying to work out what people like.

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          07.08.2008 22:56

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          Good but it'll fly by

          The Fray are a great band, not my favourite but I still think their music is pretty good. I bought their latest album a few months ago with my ipoints but it costs anywhere between £3.50 and £6.50 at the moment.

          It was released on the 13th September 2005 but I only became aware of it in the beginning of 2007 when the third track "How To Save A Life" started to get really popular! The Fray are an indie pop/mild rock band who's main focus is on the piano. They have very melodic tunes mainly due to the heavy influence of the piano.

          This album; How To Save A Life is made up of the following tracks:

          1. She Is
          2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
          3. How To Save A Life
          4. All At Once
          5. Fall Away
          6. Heaven Forbid
          7. Look After You
          8. Hundred
          9. Vienna
          10. Dead Wrong
          11. Little House
          12. Trust Me
          13. Unsaid

          I think they are a great band but I do find that the c.d seems to be finished before I realise it, the songs tend to melt into one another as they are quite similar. I recommend this because the first 3 tracks are awesome and the rest are pretty good too even if they are not memorable. 8 out of 10.

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          23.06.2008 08:50
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          Too repetitive for my tastes

          This American band remind me a bit of Coldplay mainly because the centre piece of much of their music is the piano and they have some similar haunting lyrics hence the comparison.

          Although this album was released in 2005 I only became aware of it this year hence it was a rather delayed purchase on my part. Many of the songs are melodic tunes which fits into the indie pop genre however one of the problems I have with the album is that the songs all start to sound very similar after a while and the whole album merges into one long song.

          Track List

          1. She Is
          2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
          3. How To Save A Life
          4. All At Once
          5. Fall Away
          6. Heaven Forbid
          7. Look After You
          8. Hundred
          9. Vienna
          10. Dead Wrong
          11. Little House
          12. Trust Me
          13. Unsaid


          Don't get me wrong I still find myself singing along to most of the tracks it is just that especially when listening in the car iI find the album has finished when I cannot remember actually getting past track four.

          This is partly due to the fact that the opening three tracks on the album were all released as singles and are the best known, the driving piano melodies of She Is and the more haunting Over my Head are both super songs which are followed up my the title track of the album How to Save a Life. After those three though it is just more of the same.

          For me to consider buying another album from this band they will have to show a greater range otherwise for me they will become a one album wonder as far as my collection goes.

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            08.02.2008 08:34
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            Although the band show great signs of promise, their début album is an overall disappointment.

            The Fray are a four-piece American Indie Rock band from Denver, Colorado. They formed in 2002, released this album in 2005 and have another due out at some stage in 2008. The piano is a heavy focus of their music, at the very forefront of their sound and something that they use very much to their advantage. It is the piano in the music of The Fray that drives the music forward and makes the band stand out from the crowd. The bands most commercially successful single so far has been the albums title track 'How To Save a Life', a track that sold well all around the world and is definitely my favourite from their 'How To Save a Life' album.

            Whilst there will be plenty that disagree with me, I actually found this album from The Fray to be extremely hit and miss. I feel that there are a number of tracks which are greatly impressive, but at the same time there are many others that simply wash over me without leaving any sort of a lasting impact whatsoever. 'All at Once' for example is one in particular that I find to be rather tiresome. The music borders on boring, and the band fail to inject any life into their performance whatsoever. It just seems completely devoid of passion, and how anyone could possibly enjoy listening to the track is completely beyond me. That said, I do realise that there are some that feel that every track from The Fray on this album is excellent, so perhaps there is something that I'm missing here; I just can't see it.

            I said before that 'How To Save a Life' was my favourite from this album, and the truth is that despite the fact that I find much of this album to be rather bland, this track is actually up there amongst my favourite songs from recent years. There is just something about it that makes it stand out to me, something that has many times had me place the track on repeat and listen to it over and over again. The track hit the Top 10 all around the world, and I think that this just goes to show exactly how universal this one is and how excellent a track it truly is. The piano presence is excellent, the vocals come soaring through at all times, and the drums provide the most wonderful of back beats. Put simply, 'How To Save a Life' as a track is virtually flawless and truly is the crowning glory from this album.

            'Over My Head' is not in the same league at all as 'How To Save a Life', but it is definitely one that is worth noting also. This track possesses an exceptionally addictive quality about it, a track that will have you singing along in no time and thoroughly enjoying. It builds and it builds, eventually reaching its climax in time for one final blast of its finely infectious chorus. It is a powerful track and is one that I wholeheartedly recommend you listen to if you have not done so already. 'Look After You' is perhaps the next best track from the album, it is slow paced but poignant and effective. One thing that is always striking about The Fray is their lyrics, and this one is a great example of this. The band are devout Christians and this is something that comes across heavily in their lyrics, they clearly have strong beliefs in Christianity and thus this is the main focus of their music. The Christian nature of the band goes a long way in explaining the album title of 'How To Save a Life'

            For the most part I feel that this début album from The Fray is a massive let down, and aside from a couple of moments of inspiration is really rather bland and forgettable. I had great expectations when I first listened to this album as the tracks 'How To Save a Life' and 'Over My Head' had really impressed me beforehand, but when I listen all I feel is disappointment. The Fray clearly have a lot of potential given the impressive nature of some of their music, but this album just lacks any sort of consistency and is rather lacklustre and tiresome on the whole. If you were impressed by either of their lead singles, don't make the mistake I did and expect the whole album to be of this same high level of excellence as this really isn't the case at all. The album packs a lousy punch, is mainly filler, and sounds in the main like Coldplay on a bad day. It has to be said that this album is one to avoid really as with each and every track that passes I just find myself getting more and more bored and praying for the end to come. I believe it's not a great album at all, but having sold over 2 million copies in the US alone it can quite easily be seen that there are a lot of people out there that disagree with me. Like them or loathe them; they're a successful band and will face a difficult time living up to the expectations of some when they release their difficult second studio album later this year.

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              30.01.2008 22:02
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              Good album

              I first heard of the fray about 6 months ago when I heard their song 'how to save a life' on BBC radio 1 one day. It was one of those occasions where you hear a song and fall in love with it straight away, unfortunately it was also one of those occasions where you hear a song but miss the title and band name so I spent about an hour on the internet afterwards trying to find out what it was.

              I eventually worked out what it was and downloaded it along with another song of theirs called 'cable car'

              I loved both tracks and ordered the album of Amazon the next day. The album is quite possibly one of the best albums I own and would describe them as a combination of David Gray and GooGoo Dolls of whom I am a massive fan.

              The album contains the following songs

              1. She Is
              2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
              3. How To Save A Life
              4. All At Once
              5. Fall Away
              6. Heaven Forbid
              7. Look After You
              8. Hundred
              9. Vienna
              10. Dead Wrong
              11. Little House
              12. Trust Me
              13. Unsaid


              Tracks 2 - 4 are probably the best ones on the album and are the ones that the band have released so far I think and are probably my favourite tracks of 2007 so I recommend that you most definitely buy this album just for those three songs. However some of the other songs are album filler but since the other tracks are so good it doesn't really bother me

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                23.10.2007 12:31

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                A great album, one not to miss!

                This brilliant album from The Fray is definately not one to miss. They are a breath of fresh air and have a very unique style, which many people love.
                If you haven't heard their song, "How to save a life" then where have you been?! It was constantly on TV, radio, everywhere! This just shows how popular they are. There are also many great tracks on this CD, "Over my head", "Trust me" are just some!
                What are you waiting for? Go buy it now :)

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                06.08.2007 14:38
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                This album is very good and many who like the title single will like the album.

                The Fray- How To Save A Life

                Tracks:
                She Is
                Over My Head
                How To Save A Life
                All At Once
                Fall Away
                Heaven Forbid
                Look After You
                Hundred
                Vienna
                Dead Wrong
                Little House
                Trust Me
                Unsaid

                Review:
                I have a confession to make. When I first heard ‘How To Save A Life’ I hated it. But after consistently hearing it nearly every day, I changed my mind and began to like it. Emotionally, this is one of the best albums ever. Though you can’t relate to much in this album, you think you can.

                Many would say, that if you liked the title track, then you’d like the rest. I agree. All the songs on this album are virtually the same in tune and lyrics. Sad and Emotional. But very good. The Fray are a good band and I cannot wait for the next album. They know how to use their instruments and their lyrics are there to remember.

                The only thing that gets to me about this album is the lack of variety in the songs. This isn’t an album where the previous songs entice you into the next one. If you played this album continuously in one go, then you wouldn’t like it and would get bored half way through. I do not recommend you to listen to it all at once. If you treat yourself to a song a day, you will love this album. Because the songs are so similar, they would make you fall asleep, but individually you would appreciate them more.

                This is a fabulous and smooth album overall and I would recommend it to anyone with any sort of an emotional side to their personality.

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                  16.06.2007 00:17
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                  One song does not a CD make

                  I heard "Over MY Head" on a TV cable series, found it catchy, and wanted to hear more of the group. I then got this CD. That one fairly commercial, pop song does have an entertaining chorus and memorable refrain that makes nice use of the cable car metaphor; but that's about it! Unfortunately, the rest of the songs on this album sound like they were generated by a cookie cutter. Indeed, I don't think I ever remember hearing selections that were so much alike musically: they use the very same structural form, resemble each other in almost exact production, repeat the chorus toward the end in the same redundant manner, and lack lyrical diversity . Did I say they're repetitious? Likewise, the lead singer's voice may fit the tone of "Over My Head," but by the time you hear its whinning quality on two or three of the other songs, you'll want to be rescued from the torturous experience. Once is enough! ( ironic that the album is entitled How To Save a Life). The continued exposure will either annoy or hypnotize you - as in white noise.
                  To the point, this CD is simply short on depth and ideas. Most if not all of this can be thrown in the waste bin unless you are looking for sounds that will induce deep slumber. In truth, its most salient characteristic is monotony. It therefore reveals very little ceativity and even less effort.

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                    18.04.2007 14:48
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                    The first album from American band The Fray.

                    My housemate returned back to University after the Christmas holiday absolutely raving about this song she’d heard on her drive back down on Radio 1. Now she normally has quite good taste in music, apart from the odd bizarre addition to her collection of course which also features Aqua’s Barbie Girl album. After listening to some of the album on her ipod I decided I had to have it after falling in love with the first three tracks I heard.

                    Before this I’d never heard of The Fray who are a four piece American band from Denver. They formed back in 2002 and found quite large success in Denver over their first couple of years. The first single they released in America was Over My Head in 2005 which was followed by How to Save a Life in 2006, both of these went straight into the top ten of the American charts. They released How to Save a Life in late 2006 in the UK and it went straight into the charts at number 4, quite an achievement for a previously unheard of band.

                    Their first album entitled How to Save a Life was officially released in the UK in February 2007 and can largely be defined as a classic pop rock album. Their sound is quite unique in a sense although some of the songs do remind me of Counting Crows and U2. It’s the kind of album that has something for everything – some downbeat songs ideal for those moments when you just want to relax and some upbeat songs which can really strike a chord with you through the lyrics.

                    “She Is” is a great opening track with some really upbeat melodies and a steady beat throughout. The lead vocalist in the band has quite a raspy voice at times in this track which does contain quite a sex appeal feature about it. There’s some great guitar and piano chords in this song and it all fits together smoothly. The track itself if about how you can see someone everyday and never realise that basically everything you need is right in front of you, “She is everything I need, that I never knew I wanted, she is everything I want, that I never knew I needed.”

                    “Over My Head” was the first single to be released in America and in contrast to the previous track it’s much more mellow yet there’s still distinct sounds of light rock, it’s not quite the sort of mellow track we’d expect from Snow Patrol as there’s somehow much more energy in this track. As the track goes on the quite pessimistic, gloomy opening grows in speed and volume to create a really effective pop rock track. There are elements of this song that I can really identify with, and I’m sure most people will also be able to – how sometimes we just feel that we’re completely over our head in situations, “I never knew, I never knew that everything was falling through, that everyone I knew, was waiting on a cue, to turn and run.”

                    “How to Save a Life” is the title track of the album and also their first single to be released in the UK. It’s an absolutely brilliant track with some of the most emotive lyrics I’ve come across in the past few months. It’s quite a light rock track with elements of pop thrown in which seems to suit the whole mood of the track. There are also some really soothing piano chords in the background music which really contrast with the raspy vocals coming through. The track is basically, as the title would suggest, about how to save a life and I feel that there must be some story behind this track, “Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend, somewhere along in the bitterness, and I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life.”

                    “All At Once” is one of my favourite tracks on the album and has a much more quirky, modern opening than the previous tracks. It’s something that wouldn’t really be out of place on a The Feeling or Razorlight album as it’s got that same sort of unusual, slightly eccentric opening. The song progresses into a safer realm which is much more pop sounding, although thankfully this album never once borders on cheesy pop sounds. The song itself is about how suddenly in life you can realise that what you want is right in front of you, with similar elements to the first track, “Looking for the right one, you line up the world to find, where no questions cross your mind, but she won’t keep on waiting.”

                    “Fall Away” has quite a hollow, light opening to it before some light rock guitar sounding music comes in which creates quite an odd atmosphere. The song itself opens with quite gloomy sounding lyrics before the chorus seems to lift the mood slightly with some really strong singing that can’t help but lift your mood slightly. It’s basically about how you try to move on or fall away from your past but sometimes it just follows you, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, “Something I’ve done that I can’t outrun, maybe you should wait maybe you should run, but there’s something you’ve said that can’t be undone.”

                    “Heaven Forbid” is the sixth track on the album and has quite a mature feel to it, with elements of Counting Crows being obvious in this track. This song is quite mellow and much more relaxed than any of the other tracks so far, there’s nothing upbeat about this one and I find it’s ideal for listening to while you’re just relaxing. In this track we really see the vocal abilities of The Fray with high notes being hit each time in the chorus. The meaning behind the song is again emotive, it seems they use very honest and almost raw lyrics, “Twenty years, it’s breaking you down, now that you understand there’s no one around, take a breath, just take a seat, you’re falling apart and tearing at the seams.”

                    “Look After You” marks the halfway point in The Fray’s debut album and yet again is a brilliant song that I really like. This track in particular sounds a little like Coldplay almost, with more of a rock feel to it than I’d expect from Coldplay. My only criticism with this track is that I can’t quite hear each word of the lyrics, I’m not sure why this is but it’s quite hard to decipher some of the individual words in this track. Again it’s quite a soft and slow paced one, ideal for relaxing to or when you’re in the car driving. It’s quite a reassuring song although again suggests sadness and heartbreak, “If I don’t say this now I will surely break, as I’m leaving the one I want to take, forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait, my heart has started to separate.”

                    “Hundred” is arguably the song with the oddest title on this album! It’s very serene and slow with only a 50 second opening containing only piano music to set the scene. Throughout the track the backing music is kept to a minimum with, I think, only the piano playing in accompaniment. It has a really dark and pessimistic feel to it, with some great lyrics stretching effortlessly over and beyond the piano music. Again there’s quite a negative feel to the lyrics, I think the track itself is about being unsure about a relationship, “So this is where you are, and this is where I am, somewhere between, unsure and a hundred.”

                    “Vienna” brings the mood and the pace of the music back up a little as there’s a slightly more upbeat feel to this one, although it won’t exactly have you rocking around the room! There’s still the same smooth, melodious feel to the backing music with the fairly tranquil lyrics still flowing out effortlessly. The whole album seems to have quite downbeat and pessimistic meaning, with lacklustre lyrics somehow that seem to express honest, powerful and raw emotion in a way that really is irresistible. I really like this song again, it’s oddly titled for the sentiments it expresses, “The day’s last one way ticket train pulls in, we smile for the casual closure capturing, there goes the downpour, there goes my fare thee well.”

                    “Dead Wrong” injects a little life back into the album and returns to the upbeat, slightly more optimistic feeling that was captured by the first couple of tracks on the album. There’s some really great light rock backing music in this track with the piano and guitar both coming through strongly. The chorus is great as it really grows in strength and volume which contrasts brilliantly with the slightly more low key verses. Again we’re witness to some really great lyrics and meanings, how we can all make mistakes although we feel that we’re right at the time, “If only I knew what I know, I’d make it a point to say so, to everyone that got me here, and everyone that made it.”

                    “Little House” starts off with some quite melodic and soft music before really hitting a rocking chorus that is much more associated on some hardcore rock music. It seems to be the only track on the album which really shows true signs of their liking for rock music and it comes as a welcome entry onto the album. I personally think this is my least favourite song on the album, mainly because it is so rock sounding, but I’m never really tempted to skip it which must show that there isn’t really a weak song on the album. The title doesn’t really give much away as to what the song’s about, it’s quite depressing again about how sometimes we can feel so alone, “She doesn’t look, she doesn’t see, opens up for nobody, figures out, she figures out, narrow line she can’t decide, everything short of suicide.”

                    “Trust Me” is the twelfth track on the album and the final one also. It’s a really great one to end on as it opens with that familiar, melodious yet subdued feeling before the crescendo slightly towards the chorus. I really like this song and again there are Coldplay elements that come through strongly at times. The meaning behind this song is also really honest, true and sad in a sense, “If I say I know it just goes to show, you need me less than I need you, take it from me, we don’t give sympathy, you can trust me trust nobody.”

                    Well if you haven’t already guessed I absolutely love this album! I’ve had it for over two months on my ipod and I still find myself going back to listen to it again and again, especially when I just want some relaxing and lyrically honest music. There’s so many of the tracks on here that I can identify with that I find the whole album quite honest. The way that the lyrics express different emotions and situations is quite raw in a sense, it’s not like there’s been covered in sugar in a sense like some pop songs that seem to talk about love and such, instead they’re quite blunt in such a sincere way. The general meaning behind the whole album seems to somehow be the band trying to save people from the bad things in life; the majority of the songs seem to have some sort of message regarding events in life.

                    I would recommend this album to anyone, regardless of your music tastes as all my housemates seem to have found something to identify with despite us all having quite different music tastes. I’d describe them chiefly as a meaningful, piano based band, which produces honest light pop rock tracks, so if that sounds like something that would appeal to you I’d certainly urge you to buy this album.

                    www.amazon.co.uk £8.98
                    www.play.com £8.95
                    www.tesco.co.uk £9.77

                    Thanks for reading!

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                  • Product Details

                    Disc #1 Tracklisting
                    1 She Is
                    2 Over My Head (Cable Car)
                    3 How To Save A Life
                    4 All At Once
                    5 Fall Away
                    6 Heaven Forbid
                    7 Look After You
                    8 Hundred
                    9 Vienna
                    10 Dead Wrong
                    11 Little House
                    12 Trust Me
                    13 Unsaid