Since the release of their latest and current 2005 album, How to Save a Life, piano rockers The Fray have been taking the nation by storm. The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 chart and has gone double platinum, spawned the huge hits "Over My Head (Cable Car)," "How to Save a Life," and "Look After You," and has garnered them numerous TV appearances. Frontman and pianist Isaac Slade started the band in 2002 and this album reflects the years of hard work and determination that have gotten them to where they are today.
The first mega-hit off the album, "Over My Head (Cable Car)" is a thought-provoking song that Slade says was written to describe the troubled relationship between him and his brother. Songs like "Look After You" and "She Is" are romantic, carefree, and ultimately selfless love songs ("Look After You" humbly states "What's mine is yours to make your own"). "Fall Away," a song that can easily be related to the sounds of bands like Coldplay and The Goo Goo Dolls, reminds us not to do things that we will regret, as evidenced in the lines "You fall away from your past/But its following you." "Trust Me" is a powerful, lyrically inclined piano ballad that, although not obvious, could be written from God's perspective or merely could be interpreted as a simple love song. Perhaps the most recognized and fan-favored track on the record is "How to Save a Life." It proves quite emotional in the way it describes Isaac's feelings of sorrow after the passing of a friend who he felt he could have done more to help him in the situation he was in. Importantly though, the song advocates praying to God and not turning away from Him despite the difficulties.
Some fans would argue that The Fray's music lacks severely in the faith-based lyrics department, but many others think just the opposite. Almost every single song meaning can be interpreted for a secular meaning (though in no way risque... the album never even comes close to approaching anything suggestive) or a faith based meaning, which is something that The Fray may or may not have intentionally done, but essentially makes them stand out from many other bands.
Overall, How to Save Life is nearly perfect. Nearly every song's message contains key values and life lessons. "It's so humbling to hear people connecting to these songs in such a strong way," says Slade. Indeed, it must be, and The Fray is a band the Christian music realm can hopefully keep connecting with for many years to come.- Review date: 12/10/07, written by Logan Leasure
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