The Fray

Common Sense Media says

Radio-friendly piano pop CD is clean but obscure.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A reference to cigarette smoking: "I found God on the corner of 1st and Amistad ... / All alone, smoking his last cigarette."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the worst these meditative lyrics will do is bore kids who lack the patience to decipher their understated messages about conflicted emotions and troubled relationships.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Power piano-pop band The Fray is back with its self-titled, sophomore album, recapitulating the process that made its first record, How to Save a Life, such a huge hit: the group once again used the TV show Grey's Anatomy to unveil the new album's first single, "You Found Me." Grey's adult-alternative audience is appropriate for both the show and this CD, since each revolves largely around mature, relationship-based themes. The Fray doesn't use graphic language or references to recount these themes, but the group's lyrics remain cryptically introspective: "Later on if it turns to chaos / Hurricane coming all around us / See the crack, pull it back from the window / You stay low, say when." The record wraps up with four live tracks, one of which is an acoustic version of their smash single, "How to Save a Life."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The best things about the band's first CD -- a strong piano presence and singer Isaac Slade's lovely high notes -- surface on the second album (see the track "Ungodly Hour" for a particularly good example). Otherwise, The Fray's music still suffers from monotony, with some of the songs sounding so similar that it's hard to tell them apart. While this approach doesn't lend itself to critical greatness, it does make for several hit songs when you land a chart-topper (i.e., "How to Save a Life" from the first album) and continue to repeat the sound over and over. To that end, kids are sure to hear plenty more songs from The Fray flooding the airwaves; whether they'll actually pay attention to the tunes' pensive lyrics is another matter.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of linking music to other forms of media, like television and movies. Was associating its music with Grey's Anatomy a good or bad move for the band, and why? Does it enhance or detract from the music itself?

Music details

Artist:The Fray
Release date:February 3, 2009
Label:Epic
Genre:Adult Contemporary
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of The Fray was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old March 7, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Common sense media is a monster!

Nothing bad.
Kid, 12 years old July 9, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

awesome cd, ages 10+

it's an awesome album and maybe even the fray's best but my only concern is where he talks about god smoking a cigarette
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 8, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Love it!

I love The Fray! Their my favorite band. Their music is beautiful and has so much meaning.

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