Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park) - 9/10 All Killer, No Filler (Sum 41) - 7/10 The Flood (Of Mice & Men) - 7.5/10 Tracing Back Roots (We Came as Romans) - 7/10 Collapsible Lung (Relient K) - 6.5/10 A Lesson in Romantics (Mayday Parade) - 7/10 Insomniac (Green Day) - 8.5/10 Wishful Thinking (Neck Deep) - 8.5/10 Everything Will Be Alright in the End (Weezer) - 7/10
The Fray are criminally underrated in my opinion, and this is the best example of that. People usually think of songs like "Love Don't Die" when criticizing The Fray, but that's now. They're not as good now (although their new single "Singing Low" is nice). This is what they once were. This album is a masterpiece and it's my 3rd favorite album of all time, only behind A Rush Of Blood To The Head and Mylo Xyloto. Most of the songs on here are so strong and powerful emotionally. How To Save A Life, perhaps one of their more well known songs, Fall Away, Heaven Forbid, Look After You, Hundred, Vienna, Dead Wrong, Little House, Trust Me, and Unsaid, an additional track available on later releases of the album, all pack a 5 star emotional punch (well, not really Dead Wrong, I'd call that a "strong 4" but that's still really good.) Even some of the other songs are good. The only one I don't care for too much is All At Once, which is nice enough but kind of plods along and is one of those songs that you kind of like than next thing you know you've played 3 more songs since then. Over My Head is nice, but is kind of the same way. She Is, same way except even stronger. Some of the lower level songs are kind of the same way but very minor. All in all, an absolutely spectacular album and if there's any album that should make people stop saying "they're generic" or "they're boring" or "they use clean tones" or any of that crap, it should be this one, beacuse the song here are not generic, not boring, and dont use clean tones.
The major concern here is the flow of the album. This isn't the only time The Fray screwed up the tracklisting either: Scars & Stories is highly guilty of this. Just like this album, except the majority of songs are Over My Head-type, which are nice enough but once again seem to plod along. I've even redone the flow of this album so that whenever I'm listening to it I don't wonder why the title track is sandwiched between two songs that seem to have no relation to it whatsoever.
1. She Is
2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
3. How To Save A Life
4. All At Once
5. Fall Away
6. Heaven Forbid
7. Look After You
10. Dead Wrong
11. Little House
12. Trust Me
My Tracklisting: 1. She Is
2. Over My Head (Cable Car) 3. All At Once - Replaces How To Save A Life. HTSAL should not be this early in the track listing by any means. It has been put further back in the album where it ultimately belongs. This fixes the flow a lot. 4. Look After You - It's a little too early for Fall Away and Heaven Forbid however. This song is a lead up to the more heartfelt songs in the album, and after the relative busyness of the tracks preceding it, is a "break". Inspired off of Coldplay's tracklist style where the 4th song is usually more of a ballad type slower song providing a break in between the busier songs on the album. 5. Dead Wrong - This song is a little too upbeat to be placed where it ultimately is in the original tracklisting. This leads directly into the more melancholic and slower side of things with this album. 6. Heaven Forbid - I feel this song should be switched around with Fall Away. It's less emotionally "tense" then Fall Away, meaning that Fall Away is more of a song that's meant to precede a really devastating moment in the tracklist, while this can be used as a lead up to something like Fall Away. 7. Fall Away - The emotionally tense part of the album, leading into the devastation that is... 8. How To Save A Life - This is where the song should have been placed. Right after a tense moment such as Fall Away. Not sandwiched in between 2 songs that have nothing to do with it. 9. Hundred - Same order, just one spot up in the absence of "Dead Wrong". * 10. Vienna - * 11. Little House
12. Trust Me
If I was allowed to use another song from any other album as well in the tracklist, it would be "Ungodly Hour" from the same artist's self titled album that followed the release of this one. I would put it in between "Vienna" and "Little House", it would just make sense. I'd also do a reprise sort of thing for "Look After You" and put that in between Little House and Trust Me, to lessen the sharp effect you get from the harshness of the end of that song into the calmness and melancholy of Trust Me. One day I will remake this album... and do this
So yeah, that's my opinion on this amazing debut by The Fray. By far the best debut of any artist I've heard yet!