American Indie-Rock band pave the way for their fourth album effort ‘Helios’, which sees the band showcasing their enjoyable yet typical style of indie-pop music. On ‘Helios’, we can hear hints here and there that The Fray have managed to progress somewhat more than what was present on their previous album efforts. ‘Helios’ comes across as somewhat typical but there’s a fair few enjoyable moments, recalling in some ways the strong song-writing efforts that were present on the bands’ debut effort, yet absent on their subsequent. There’s a few average elements on ‘Helios’, but there does seem to be some enjoyable moments.
‘Helios’ comes across as a much stronger album effort than the bands’ previous album of ‘Scars & Stories’. A few tracks on ‘Helios’ present some very enjoyable pop elements that come across fairly strongly, and in fact much more strongly than what a lot of bands are producing these days. There’s a more charged element on ‘Helios’, which isn’t as subtle or downplayed as The Fray’s debut effort, though it comes across rather well for the most part on the band’s new album. There’s some good enjoyable moments on ‘Helios’, and arguably much much more than what was present on ‘Scars & Stories’.
Although ‘Helios’ has its moments here and there, the overall album sounds far too flawed for it to be a truly strong album. Much of the album sounds distinctly average and dull, with nothing truly standing out in any real significant way. Worse is how The Fray themselves seem to have dipped in their own quality. Slades’ voice doesn’t seem to be up to the challenge he’s going for on ‘Helios’, which is a shame as his efforts just fall incredibly short. ‘Helios’ has its moments, but they’re far too thinly spread to actually save ‘Helios’ in any way. Everything just feels lackluster and empty, as though The Fray has failed to achieve anything they may have wanted to on ‘Helios’.
The Fray seem to have let themselves down once again on ‘Helios’. It might come across as a better album than ‘Scars & Stories’, but it has only just managed to step over that line, rather than run far beyond it to the lengths their debut album reached. There’s simply nothing inspiring or amazing on ‘Helios’ to make it an album worthy of much recognition. The Fray don’t see to have really tried to push themselves to make something that is truly great. Perhaps The Fray are actually trying in their albums, but considering their most recent efforts, it’s hard to see much evidence.
- ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
- Love Don’t Die
- Keep On Wanting
- Same As You
The Fray’s latest album ‘Helios’ is out now.