Artist: The Fray
Title: “Scars and Stories”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
As a native Coloradan, I try to keep tabs on Colorado bands and The Fray is the biggest commercial success to emerge from the Mile High City.
I’ve never been a passionate supporter, although I have an anecdote about visiting England and hearing “How to Save a Life” on BBC1, thinking it was appropriate that this Coloradan arrived across the pond at the same time as the band.
Aside from sentimentality for my home state, The Fray has never captured my attention and “Scars and Stories” is another example why.
“Heartbeat,” inspired by singer Isaac Slade’s visit to Rwanda, is a page ripped from the Coldplay playbook — as is much of “Scars” — complete with a Chris Martin-esque whimper to ease into some of the lines: “Ooh-oh-whoo-oh, I’m feeling your heartbeat.”
When The Fray isn’t desperate to ape Coldplay or Keane, “Scars” lacks the buoyancy that made “How to Save a Life” or “Over My Head (Cable Car)” amusing. “Be Still” is destined for a closing montage on a dramatic TV show.
Fray faithful will find little fault with a formula they didn’t think was wrong in the first place, but I remain unimpressed.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.