The Fray (album)

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The Fray
Studio album by The Fray
Released February 3, 2009
Recorded July 2008 in Denver, Colorado
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock, piano rock
Length 43:25
Label Epic
Producer Aaron Johnson, Mike Flynn
The Fray chronology
Acoustic in Nashville: Bootleg No. 2
(2007)
The Fray
(2009)
Live from the 9:30 Club: Bootleg No. 3
(2009)
Singles from The Fray
  1. "You Found Me"
    Released: November 21, 2008
  2. "Never Say Never"
    Released: May 5, 2009
  3. "Heartless"
    Released: September 14, 2009
  4. "Syndicate"
    Released: January 12, 2010

The Fray is the second studio album by The Fray. Released on February 3, 2009, through Epic Records,[1] the album debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 chart, and became a top 5 hit in Australia and Canada.

The album was preceded by the single "You Found Me," which charted in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the number-one spot in Australia. The second single from the album, "Never Say Never," was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2010.[2] "Never Say Never" was also included on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – The Album.

Critical reception was mixed, and less positive than the band's debut album, How to Save a Life, with critics pointing out that the album was too similar to its predecessor. However, positive reviews also noted that despite the similarities, The Fray was "more focused" and "consistent" than the debut album. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album and has been certified gold in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Background[edit]

Following the success of their debut album, How to Save a Life in 2005 and an extensive tour which ended by mid-2007, The Fray began work on their second album. The band occasionally took breaks from recording, and performed some of their new songs on a few high-profile shows, most notably the song "You Found Me", which was then titled "Amistad". The band finished recording the self-titled album at the end of July 2008 for an early 2009 release. The album was produced by Aaron Johnson and Mike Flynn (the same production duo from the band's debut album) and recorded by Warren Huart.[3] The song "Amistad" went through several changes and finally evolved into "You Found Me", which was chosen as the album's lead single. The band filmed a music video in Chicago for the song, which was directed by Josh Forbes.

The single debuted on November 20, during a commercial break of the show Grey's Anatomy. It was a one-minute promo with scenes from the then-upcoming season of ABC's Lost. "You Found Me" received heavy airplay in the United States, and became their third song the chart in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a success internationally, most notably in Australia where it reached number-one. The band performed the song live at the 2008 American Music Awards on November 23, and began touring in support of their second album.

On November 21, 2008, the album was made available for pre-order in standard, vinyl and deluxe versions. The deluxe version contains the CD in a Digipack case, a bonus DVD, an extended booklet and a set of postcards. The deluxe version of the album was only available for order in the United States.[4] A documentary, titled Fair Fight,[5] was sold with the first 300,000 copies of the album.[6]

The band shot acoustic video performances of some of the songs from the album which were circulated on the internet before the album's release.[6][7] Some songs of the album were also featured on a few TV shows: "Never Say Never" was on an episode of One Tree Hill as well as on the season five finale of Grey's Anatomy. The song "Happiness" was played on an episode of "Brothers and Sisters." The second track on the album, "Absolute", charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70, on the strength of a large number of digital downloads, despite not being released as a single.,[1]

Commercial Performance[edit]

The Fray was released on February 3, 2009. Following the success of "You Found Me", the album debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 179,000 copies in its first week of release. It then dropped to number 4 the next week selling 75,000 copies.[8][9] The album re-entered the Billboard 200 at No. 96 chart on the week ending March 7, 2010, and dropped out in the following week.,[1] According to Soundscan, as of February 2012, the album has sold 897,000 copies in the U.S.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Isaac Slade and Joe King, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Syndicate"   3:32
2. "Absolute"   3:47
3. "You Found Me"   4:04
4. "Say When" (Isaac Slade) 5:02
5. "Never Say Never"   4:16
6. "Where The Story Ends"   3:57
7. "Enough For Now"   4:14
8. "Ungodly Hour"   5:04
9. "We Build Then We Break"   3:48
10. "Happiness" (Isaac Slade) 5:22
Total length:
43:25
Deluxe Edition
  1. "Heartless" – 4:16 (First time on CD) (Kanye West cover)
  2. "Never Say Never" – 4:21 (Live with the London Quartet)
  3. "You Found Me" – 4:05 (Live with the London Quartet)
  4. "Where the Story Ends" – 3:20 (Piano Version)
  5. "Fair Fight" – 3:08 (Live)
  6. "Be The One" – 3:30 (New song demo)
  7. "Uncertainty" – 3:16
  8. "How To Save A Life" – 4:58 (Live from Webster Hall)
iTunes Bonus Tracks
  1. "Fair Fight" – 2:45 (Slade)
Deluxe edition iTunes bonus tracks
  1. "Where the Story Ends" (Piano Version)
  2. "Absolute" (Acoustic Version)
  3. "You Found Me" (Acoustic Version)
  4. "Fair Fight"
  5. "Uncertainty"
Pre-order iTunes bonus track (for both iTunes editions)

"Enough for Now" (Acoustic Version)

Bonus DVD
  1. "You Found Me" (Video)
  2. "You Found Me" (Making the Video)
  3. "Making the Album"(Video)

Singles[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (56/100)[16]
Review scores
Source Rating
Absolute Punk (83%)[17]
Allmusic 3/5 stars[18]
Billboard (positive)[19]
Blender 2.5/5 stars[20]
Entertainment Weekly C-[21]
Jesus Freak Hideout 3.5/5 stars[22]
musicOMH 2/5 stars[23]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[24]
Sputnikmusic 2/5 stars[25]
US Weekly 3/4 stars[26]

So far, the album has received a score of 56 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "mixed or average reviews".[16] Rolling Stone stated that "The band's piano rock suggests a more earnest, less arty Coldplay. The Fray are going for introspection and dramatic sweep but don't rise above bland pleasantries."[24] An Entertainment Weekly review stated, "The Fray is all blah, all the time: more minor-key melodies, more dreary tempos, more of singer-pianist Isaac Slade's spiceless sore-throat croon."[21] Allmusic, whilst giving the album a modestly positive review, echoed many of these statements, saying that the "songcraft remains virtually unchanged" and that the album lacks any "purported originality."[18] BBC Music too gave the album an overall positive review, stating "there are enough haunting hooks and delicately well written tunes here".[27]

Absolute Punk criticized the negative reviews, "For what it's worth, the Denver quintet has released a charming, appealing record that would be far more praiseworthy if it didn't sound so much like its predecessor...it may be an album a lot like its predecessor, but that isn't exactly a bad thing."[17] Uncut gave the album a score of 4 out of 5 stars, stating the album was "not only a radio-friendly unit-shifter, but also a bona fide guilty pleasure."[16]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Certifications
Australian Albums Chart 3[28] Gold[29]
Belgium Albums Chart (Flanders) 59
Canadian Albums Chart 2[30] Gold[31]
Irish Albums Chart 13[32]
UK Albums Chart 8[33] Silver[34]
New Zealand RIANZ 19
U.S. Billboard 200 1[35] Platinum[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Discography – The Fray – The Fray". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Nominees And Winners". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "skyroo.com: The Leading Sky Room Site on the Net". Fray.skyroo.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  5. ^ Rod Blackhurst (2008-11-12). "When I'm Alone I Always Sound Like Myself: Assorted Documentary Trivia". Rodblackhurst.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  6. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "Music Video News: Epic". Video Static. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  8. ^ "The Fray Topples Springsteen On Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^ "Information Not Found". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  10. ^ "Upcoming Releases". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  11. ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100" (in (Dutch)). Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  12. ^ Published Wednesday, Aug 26 2009, 05:22 BST (2009-08-26). "The Fray 'to release Kanye West cover' - Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  13. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  14. ^ "The Fray Home | The Official The Fray Site". Blog.thefray.net. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  15. ^ "The Fray Home | The Official The Fray Site". Blog.thefray.net. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  16. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for The Fray". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  17. ^ a b Gregory Robson (2009-02-03). "Fray, The - The Fray - Album Review". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  18. ^ a b Allmusic review
  19. ^ Gary Graff (2009-02-07). "The Fray". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ a b Mikael Wood (2009-01-30). "The Fray Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  22. ^ Logan Leasure (2009-01-30). "The Fray, "The Fray" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  23. ^ Nic Oliver (2009-02-02). "The Fray - The Fray". musicOMH. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  24. ^ a b Christian Hoard (2009-01-21). "The Fray: The Fray : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  25. ^ Rudy K. (2009-02-03). "The Fray - The Fray (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  26. ^ Ian Drew. "The Fray". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  27. ^ Jaime Gill (2009-02-06). "Music - Review of The Fray - The Fray". BBC. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 Albums Chart - Australian Record Industry Association". Ariacharts.com.au. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  29. ^ "http://www.aria.com.au/pages/ARIACharts-Accreditations-2009Albums.htm". Aria.com.au. 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  30. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  31. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  32. ^ "Ireland Albums Top 75 - Music Charts". Acharts.us. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  33. ^ "Radio 1 - Chart - The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". BBC. 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  34. ^ "British album certifications – The Fray"
  35. ^ "The Fray Topples Springsteen On Billboard 200". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  36. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
Preceded by
Working on a Dream by Bruce Springsteen
Billboard 200 number-one album
February 21, 2009
Succeeded by
Fearless by Taylor Swift