When The Fray released the single “Heartbeat” at the end of 2011, expectations rose for the release of their newest album Scars and Stories. The band was known for its simple melodies, acoustic guitar leads and piano choruses but has now moved into the rock realm.
Most of the songs are more upbeat than those on their previous albums, making it a fun collection of songs to listen to.
The band worked with Brendan O’Brien to produce the work, and his experience in the music industry played a big part in Scars and Stories.
O’Brien has worked with well-known bands like Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen in the past so he knows rock music. The Fray’s partnership with him insured that they had a good chance of creating a successful rock album.
Even though this CD is different from what their previous albums were, it’s not enough to really impress. Just because the songs are faster and have more instruments in them doesn’t necessarily mean they are better.
The love and heartbreak theme of the album is something that most people can relate to, but The Fray isn’t the only band writing songs about that love, and they didn’t do it well enough to catch a lot of new attention. People who weren’t previously fans don’t have much incentive to jump on that bandwagon now with the release of this album.
It’s difficult not to tune out after the beginning tracks, the first of which was the single “Heartbeat.” It might end up being the biggest hit on this record. None of the other songs really have the potential to overcome current chart toppers.
The album is more of the same band that’s been heard before. For fans, that’s great, but for the music industry or those seeking new music, there are more interesting and catchy songs to devote listening time to.
The guitar strokes on different songs start to blend together pretty quickly, making listening easy but not thrilling or enticing. The Fray may be bearing their bruises, losses and some triumphs through the lyrics of Scars and Stories, but the depth and involvement of the music just doesn’t match up to the purpose of the songs.
The band will probably sell as many copies as they have with past releases, but The Fray didn’t hit it big with this album release and most likely won’t grow their fan base much because of it.
Listen to this album as background music while studying? Sure. Star it on Spotify? Probably not.