The Fray

Scars & Stories

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AllMusic Review by

Upgrading to Brendan O'Brien, the producer who came to fame via his work with Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam, the Fray have never sounded better on record than they do on their third album, Scars & Stories. It's not that they've changed their template -- they still rely on a chilly, atmospheric blend of Coldplay's balladeering and Rob Thomas' rock, tempered by a dash of the urgency of 3 Doors Down -- but O'Brien helps them articulate their ideas, giving them definition and muscle, attributes that are appealing when the songs lack distinct hooks. Certainly, this shimmering, assured pulse assists the Fray whenever they don't have a song as compelling as "How to Save a Life," and if they rely a little bit too heavily on O'Brien's incomparable skills, it is a maneuver that means Scars & Stories will satisfy most Fray fans.

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