Listener Appeal: Teens to adults
After loving the debut CD from The Fray, I had high expectations for their follow-up. Unfortunately, The Fray's self-titled second album suffers from a bit of a sophomore slump. Overall, this CD is nothing special...but it is still a solid sequel to How to Save a Life.
On the whole, this album speaks a lot to working through problems. One song that highlights this--and is also a highlight of the album--is “Where the Story Ends.” This song is about divorce and how it tears through a family. It talks of the pain of splitting a family apart and some of the rebirth that must come afterward.
The song “We Build Then We Break” demonstrates the musical qualities of this group. Overall, they aren't fancy or in-your-face, but are still interesting and deep. This track has many layers of simple drums, keyboards, and guitars all overlaying each other to compliment the lyrics.
One final song I really enjoyed was, “Happiness.” It talks about the dark side of happiness and how complicated it is. The phrase “Happiness damn near destroys you, breaks your faith to pieces on the floor,” is a way in which we don’t see happiness quite often, although it can be completely true.
Unfortunately, this album is not perfect. One of my biggest problems with The Fray is how overplayed they are on the radio. If you’re listening to a contemporary station for an hour or so, you’ll most likely hear their newest hit “You Found Me.” This isn’t a bad song, but with so much play, it gets old fast. There are times throughout the album that some of the lyrics are somewhat muddled because of bad enunciation, and that can be annoying when trying to figure out what they’re saying. Finally, the song “Ungodly Hour,” just isn't that great. It is a slower song, but it seems to drag on and on, rather than flow like a song, especially a slower one, should
Let’s Talk About It
If your family members are interested in this album, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:
• This album seems to be a lot about working through problems. What are some problems you’re working through?
• When, like in the song “You Found Me,” have you been lost, then found by God?
Note: All CD covers and related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective record companies.