While in many ways How to Save a Life is unoriginal and takes no risks, The Fray have created a compelling debut album. A certain x factor, which relies heavily on the charming vocals of Isaac Slang, enrich the songs with a lively energy or a plaintive atmosphere that makes this band stand out from its peers.
To call The Fray "huge" would be a drastic understatement, but in 2005 they were practically unknown outside of Colorado, which is what makes the sheer quality of 'How To Save A Life' so surprising. Their sound, while not groundbreaking, is undeniably refreshing. Their lyrics are excellent. Their codas are out of this world. Some of these songs are downright beautiful, but while there isn't a single bad one on the entire album, some do start to sound the same after a while. Isaac Slade's forced delivery may turn off some listeners, but the superb lyrics still manage to shine through.
Standout tracks: How To Save A Life, Heaven Forbid, Vienna