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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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The Fray denies 'monochromatic' claims

iTunes pops up automatically onto the computer screen. The first sounds escaping from the speakers are expected to be another head-banging, guitar-raging, run-of-the-mill rock band. But instead, gentle lyrics and melodic lines chime from the player.

Soft rock group The Fray debuted their self-titled third album, Feb. 3. The project is a new sound not many bands venture to try.

From their debut project, Live at the Electric Factory, The Fray has continued to improve and diversify, basing on their first popular single, the piano-driven and heartfelt “How to Save a Life.” From there, the band has grown from a Denver-based group with passionate vocals to a worldwide phenomenon.

Their third album showcases their single, “You Found Me,” beginning with yet another gripping piano solo. The song sets a melancholy tone for the rest of the album, yet ends on a cheerful note. The lyrics celebrate; “Lost and insecure/you found me/you found me,” and “I found God/on the corner of First and Amistad,” adding a spiritual undertone to the words.

Though The Fray has become notorious for identical songs, true fans know the truth: their music flows smoothly together with no sign of anything but original ideas. Because most of their music is centered around a piano, The Fray has more versitility to include different solos and chords harmonies that stir thought processes.

An exceptionally creative solo is shown in “Where the Story Ends.” This continuous solo embeds itself in a listener’s head, but not to a monotonous point. The band sings, “Trying not to lose my head but I have never been this scared before/tell you what I’ll do instead/lay my body down on the floor/to forget what I’ve done.” Such a serious but ambiguous topic sets a solemn tone to match the soft instrumentation.

Each unique song sticks out but all connect to each other in some way. The order of each selection is placed well in this album. The beginning line up of “Syndicate,” “Absolute” and “You Found Me,” hooks listeners in and keeps them tuned in. The finishing and quieter numbers, “Happiness” and “Fair Fight”, add to the message the band has presented throughout: hope is always there.

My personal favorite is the acoustic version of “Absolute,” available on the deluxe version of the album. It is one of those songs with a catchy beat and it stuck in my head all day. The tune makes me feel at peace and overall just transforms my troubles into bad dreams I have escaped. Their music is like a pick-me-up or a familiar lullaby to turn to when I am stressed.

The Fray has not lost any energy compared to other popular rock bands. They are easily stereotyped as monochromatic because piano is a heavy substance in this group.

To the contrary, this is an advantage because it gives the band more versatility to include different solos and different chords and harmonies in slower songs.

Overall, this album shows positive creativity and meaning buried into their vague and poetic lyrics. The Fray is a nice switch of venues from harder rock to softer, more nuanced music. It encourages and brings peace with good harmonies to hum all day long.

For more music reviews, visit the Jan 28 article, David Cook surpasses Idol beginnings.

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    Brianna CarlsonSep 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    You all did so well! Even though I had read through the script multiple times while going through lines with Madeline, you all attributed such fun personalities – I laughed myself almost to tears!

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