Listening to The Fray’s new chart-topping, self-titled album is like reading someone’s diary from start to finish – it’s intensely emotional, a bit long and drawn-out at times, but ultimately a refreshing look at something (in this case music) you thought you knew.

The album starts out with the mellow, piano-driven tune, “Syndicate,” which builds up quickly to a very melodic chorus about wanting what you haven’t got. It’s lilting rhythm is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The vibe then changes a direction on “Absolute,” which is guided by a catchy snare drum and melodic chorus vocals. It’s not as catchy as some of the other songs, but is still definitely worth a listen.

“You Found Me,” the first single from the album, is a hauntingly beautiful hit song about finding things in life – everything from God to yourself to someone else finding you. It’s a signature slow and intimate song from the band.


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Unfortunately, from this point, a lot of the songs, like “Say When,” “Never Say Never” and “Enough For Now,” tend to fade into one another. It’s only when “Ungodly Hour,” with its fuzzy electronic overtones and U2-esque backbeat comes along that the album gets interesting again.

The final two tracks, “We Build The We Break” and “Happiness,” give the album a finished feel that many records these days are lacking – because their sound is a very scaled-back, soft one with the focus on the vocal work, they wrap up the album perfectly, instead of finishing with a wild riff or thumping song that feels like it still needs something else.

Overall, this is a great album that, luckily, does not get annoying or overdone when it comes to its high emo(tional) quotient. It’s a great second effort from the band that deserves all the praise it’s getting. In fact, it almost deserved to knock Bruce Springsteen off the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Almost, but not quite. (Because no one should ever get to knock The Boss).


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