The Fray
Helios


1.5
very poor

Review

by Azn. USER (37 Reviews)
March 8th, 2014 | 44 replies


Release Date: 01/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Harmless to the point of painful mediocrity

As unabashedly mediocre The Fray's discography may be, there was always the sense that this would be a band to leave behind some sort of legacy; perhaps it is just a fleeting impression from the band's mainstream success. The radio hit that was "How to Save a Life" was just that, a hit, but time and time again The Fray has tread the line between musical success and being one-hit-wonder sort of band, the kind that makes a large initial splash, only to then sink into the murky depths of mediocrity. The Fray's familiar piano rock has no doubt a certain degree of attractiveness to it, but 2014 release "Helios", crafted two albums later after "How To Save a Life", has refused to venture out of the band's comfort zone. The result is a bewildering rehash that is vaguely different in the worst ways but still cut from the same cloth.

Album opener "Hold My Hand" showcases basically everything that The Fray is about nowadays, including all of the band's shortcomings. It meanders on, anchored by a sugary anthem of a chorus that sounds weaker with each successive repetition, making it clear that The Fray are seemingly hell-bent on creating the most innocuous, radio-friendly, family-car-ride-friendly music possible. The jingly piano seems to drive this home perfectly, being even catchy at times only to be drowned out by the same-y choruses and lazy instrumentals. Perhaps the ultimate affront isn't the blandness of the music, but the way it was produced - "Helios" is veritably soaked in reverb, in a seemingly desperate attempt to cover the musical lapses present throughout. Everything from Isaac Slade's degenerating vocal performance, to the synthesizer, to the robotic percussion section, is dressed in the same transparent garb as arena rock. It pretends to be grander and more bombastic than it actually is.

"Helios" represents a band that has tripped to fall on its knees, desperately clinging to its past. Cash-grab or lackluster attempt at cementing a legacy, either way it is an insignificant and soulless hodgepodge of simple chord progressions and modern rock generica.



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user ratings (53)
Chart.
1.8
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Azn.
March 7th 2014


5632 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

regret listening

Ryus
March 7th 2014


17465 Comments


hate this band with a passion, nice one

Azn.
March 7th 2014


5632 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I admit I used to think they were fine, but they're just really bad now

Mongi123
March 7th 2014


20344 Comments


Just been there done that radio pop rock as usual. I hate this guys vocals with a passion.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


damn, i was just getting ready to tear this apart

Digging: Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation

Ryus
March 7th 2014


17465 Comments


love don't die is painful to hear

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


It sounds like a fucking Mumford song

fallenbird
March 7th 2014


4487 Comments


Don't hate this shit, listen to good stuff instead. This stuff should be forgotten.

Ryus
March 7th 2014


17465 Comments


we would forget trash like this if it wasn't blasting in our ears every time we walk into a store or turn on the radio

Snake.
March 7th 2014


21663 Comments


Never liked this band, even as a stupid kid who listened to Nickelback, I had to FORCE myself to like Over My Head.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


I doubt I can handle this and American Authors back to back so thanks for not putting me through that asianguy

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


I kinda liked the singles from their first album but it went down from there. Never Say Never was all I could take from Album II, and Album III... hell, I forgot

Snake.
March 7th 2014


21663 Comments


Listen to Illuminate by Lydia, you'll regain sanity.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


I'll cleanse myself with radio rock

Cygnatti
March 7th 2014


32791 Comments


illuminate is nice. :] glm, I think you'd dig lydia.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


female vocalist?

Cygnatti
March 7th 2014


32791 Comments


actually no.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


will check later

Snake.
March 7th 2014


21663 Comments


There are two vocalists, one male, one female.

Green Baron
March 7th 2014


24544 Comments


Ah ok



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