A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are no offensive lyrics here -- just a collection of sweet and ever-so-slightly monotonous love songs, with one or two very subtle references to suicide.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
HOW TO SAVE A LIFE is the full-length debut of The Fray, a Denver quartet deeply committed to medium-tempo, melodic pop songs about love, loss, and that all-important occasional glimmer of hope. Serious and emotional, the songs are well-crafted and well-played, though there really isn't a stick-in-your-head standout among them. Articulate on the subject of the complexities of love and relationships while covering no new ground, The Fray express themselves well with lyrics that are direct and honest. \"Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend/Somewhere along in the bitterness/And I would have stayed up with you all night/Had I known how to save a life\" (\"How to Save A Life\") is a good example of The Fray's songwriting. Competent and expressive, their greatest flaw is an absolute lack of humor or irony.
Is it any good?
Isaac Slade (vocals, piano), Joe King (guitar, vocals), Ben Wysocki (drums), and Dave Welsh (guitar) deliver fine performances all the way around, with an extra nod to Slade's piano playing and impressively emotive high notes. But some of his singing verges on whiny, and the songs (mostly credited to Slade and King) become monotonous after the first few tracks. If you love one, you'll love 'em all. If you don't, then wait awhile until the members of The Fray have had a chance to grow into their own unique sound... and their record-label press-kit hype.