The Fray – Scars and Stories

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‘The Fray’ return with their third studio album and decide to up the tempo and crank the guitars slightly more than usual.

RELEASED: February 2012
RECORDED: March-June 2011 Nashville, Tennessee
GENRE: Pop Rock, Piano Rock
LABEL: Epic, Sony
PRODUCER: Brendan O’ Brien

Scars & Stories album cover


1. “Heartbeat” 3:41
2. “The Fighter” 4:20
3. “Turn Me On” 3:03
4. “Run for Your Life” 3:59
5. “The Wind” 4:15
6. “1961” 3:54
7. “I Can Barely Say” 4:20
8. “Munich” 3:57
9. “Here We Are” 3:32
10. “48 to Go” 3:23
11. “Rainy Zurich” 3:48
12. “Be Still” 2:49

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ band are the bane of hipsters everywhere. They are often lumped in with ‘Coldplay’ and other famous piano rock outfits. ‘The Fray’ seem to annoy as many ‘indie kids’ as they soothe the mass of ballad loving, McDreamy obsessed, twenty and thirty year old’s out there.

On ‘Scars and Stories’, the band tries to create a bit more edge and energy through big choruses and slightly loud guitars, as found on songs like ‘Heatbeat’ and ‘The Fighter’. It must be said that lead singer Isaac Slade sounds similar to ‘Kings of Leon’ frontman, Caleb Followill at times, or maybe Caleb sounds like Slade.


‘Turn Me On’ and ‘Run For Your Life’ offer the same formula established at the start…included are heartfelt but sappy lyrics welded to uninspiring melodies and generic choruses. ‘1961’ has a catchy and bouncy little riff interlaced with nice reverb guitar licks. The melody is rote and hookless though and boring arrangements squash what could have been a good song, not that any of these songs are bad, they are just…too plain and a tad dreary.

‘I Can Barely Say’ ushers in the first true ballad and plays on the style the band is famous for. The rest of the songs jump back to the style of the first half of the album with ‘Munich’ and ‘Rainy Zurich’ offering slightly better than average arrangements and melodies. The last track ‘Be Still’ uses a gospel hymn of the same name as a template for the most tender and soft song on the album.

When it’s over, ‘Scars and Stories’ feels too generic and offers no dynamism or emotional musical impact that is long lasting. This is a simple album that will pass by quietly without making any waves.

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