You can't say the Fray aren't committed to their cause, whatever that may be. Whether the Denver quartet is lifting the spirits of down-in-the-dumps fans or guiding viewers through another tear-stained episode of Grey's Anatomy, they've done it with an unshakeable belief in the healing qualities of their faceless but catchy piano pop. Their third album doesn't budge from the hit-making formula, laying out support with equal doses of earnestness and urgency. On "Heartbeat," the opening song and first single from Scars & Stories, they shoot for Coldplay territory, somewhere between basketball arenas and heaven, as Isaac Slade sings about kerosene, desire, and "trying to start a flame in the heart of the night." He's every bit as grandiose on "Run for Your Life" and "Be Still," where he still gets in way over his head trying to save a life or two. — Gallucci
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.