If it ain't broke, why fix it?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 March, 2009, 12:00am

Three years after their double platinum debut How to Save a Life, Colorado-based quartet The Fray returns with a CD full of melodic, radio-friendly but ultimately unsurprising tracks.

The alternative rock band seems content with their record-selling formula: low-key piano intro, drums and guitars adding a solid beat and ending on a high.

The songs may be hard to tell apart at first, but give the record a chance. Listen carefully to the sincere lyrics and they'll grow on you. Often singing about losing focus, being left alone and healing a bleeding heart, The Fray end each song with an it's-gonna-be-okay attitude.

Frontman Issac Slade's versatile and passionate voice is the band's strongest asset. When it's not powerful and abrasive, it's charismatic and calming.

Opener Syndicate and lead single You Found Me are instantly likeable numbers that are likely to appear in ads for TV dramas.

In Never Say Never, Slade's moving falsetto complements the plaintive cries of 'Don't let me go' in the last verse. This will get stuck in your head.

The melodically outstanding Enough For Now is the best track, while the lullaby-like Ungodly Hour is finally a taste of The Fray we've never heard.

Album closer Happiness shows us just how poetic a rock band could and should be.