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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/a2f073925ad46b6c00bdc11867d10c576cfa89d5.jpg Scars & Stories

The Fray

Scars & Stories

Epic
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
February 7, 2012

"I wanna kiss your scars tonight," Isaac Slade sings on "Heartbeat," a hope-rock anthem inspired by a visit to Rwanda. If it were a Lonely Island parody of an earnest rock band it'd be kind of funny. Unfortunately, the Fray are terrifyingly serious. Six years since their hit "How to Save a Life," they're still pumping American-Coldplay ballads full of sky-groping choruses and symphonic rushes. Producer Brendan O'Brien seems to have pushed them to turn down the Chris Martin piano rock a little. But a song about a boxer losing his last bout while his woman calls out his name ("The Fighter") is a patient beyond song-doctoring.

Listen to "Heartbeat":

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