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The Fray "Over My Head (Cable Car)"

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The Fray
Pro: The Fray's first single is a modern-rock meteor that tethers glacier-sized hooks and studio gloss to a downer diatribe that makes abject misery feel as epic and wonderful as winning the pennant race with a gang of farm-leaguers. Singer Isaac Slade surfs endorphin waves of optimistic piano and guitar, seething and crouching on the verses, and nearly wiping out whenever that killer chorus swells and rockets into the sun. Dig it: passion and pathos in perfect harmony. -- Ray Cummings

Con: From the first synth pulse, it's clear that the Fray has a proclivity for huge, cheese-carved hooks. Careful students of sensitive artists like David Grey, Coldplay, and Keane, the band has released a debut single with enough sentimental syrup and ambiguous one-liners to steam the skivvies of a nun. But a ProTools sheen and pouty vocal affectation can't disguise the fact that the Fray's corporate cookie is from someone else's cutter. -- Nate Cavalieri

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