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Music / The Fray

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Everyone knows I'm in over my head, over my head,
With eight seconds left in overtime,
she's on your mind, she's on your mind.
"Over My Head (Cable Car)"

The Fray is a Denver-based rock group best known for their singles "Over My Head (Cable Car)", "How to Save a Life", and their piano-rock style of music.

The current members are:

  • David "Dave" Welsh: lead guitar
  • Joe King: guitar, backing and lead vocals
  • Ben Wysocki: drums, percussion

Not to be confused with the comic book Fray.

The band's songs contain examples of:

  • Angsty Surviving Twin: The main character of "Run for Your Life" is one.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Minor example in "Absolute":
    Yet man was born to trouble, like sparks fly upward...note 
  • Blithe Spirit: Of the girl in "Turn Me On", Slade said, "She's like a belly dancer almost in a very rigid, stiff, kind of regimented, legalistic world. She comes in and kind of upsets the food cart."
  • Crowd Song: "All at Once" references a crowd bursting into song.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • A number of songs seem to be written from the wrong side. Examples include "Trust Me", "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "You Found Me".
    • "How to Save a Life" has someone else going over this.
    • "Run for Your Life" is about a girl with a dead twin sister and trying to keep her from crossing it.
  • Disappeared Dad: The father in "Enough for Now", who "left my mother's mother without so much as a kiss", and while it's unclear exactly what happened the first verse says he's "no longer with us" and later lyrics suggest he's dead.
  • Downer Ending: "Happiness" (see below).
  • Driven to Suicide: It appears that "How to Save a Life" is a song about someone who was driven to kill themselves.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Through the Years: The Best of the Fray
  • Grief Song: "How to Save a Life" is about being unable to save someone from themselves, though it's officially open to interpretation. "Heartless" is about getting away from the toxic influences, but feeling empty afterward.
  • Hikikomori: "Little House" seems to be about one.
  • "I Want" Song: "She Is"
    She is everything I need that I never knew I wanted, she is everything I want that I never knew I needed
    • "Without Reason" from the Reason EP is another.
  • Lighter and Softer: The album Helios, perhaps fitting for an album named after a god of the sun, has songs that are generally more hopeful and optimistic than its predecessors.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Type 2.
  • Never Trust a Title: "Happiness" is nothing like it sounds. It's an extremely sad song that puts some of U2's album closers to shame.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: "You Found Me" is addressed to God with the question "Where were you?" Also a bit of Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter involved. Fairly mild though, given that Isaac Slade is a Christian. Note that, even if He was "just a little late", God showed up anyway, and although the song is very emotional, it does have a slight air of gratefulness.
  • Rags to Royalty: In 2006 Isaac Slade was named heir to the estate of Sir Baron Benjamin Slade, a distant cousin of his.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "How to Save a Life" does this several times, starting with the opening couplet: "Step one, you say we need to talk/He walks, you say sit down, it's just a talk."
  • Sarcasm Mode: "How to Save a Life" features the line "Let him know that you know best/'Cause after all, you do know best." The writer said that the song was written about troubled teens he had worked with and how their parents always thought they knew what was best for the teens, even if it wasn't working.
  • Self-Titled Album: Oddly enough, their second album was this.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: "Trust Me" plays around with this; the speaker seems sad that the addressee will understand "when you're older", but equally despairing at the idea that they never might.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: According to Slade, "Turn Me On" is about a Romeo and Juliet style love affair.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: "How to Save a Life" is about attempting, and failing, to do this.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: The subject of the song "Hurricane" is a woman fierce enough to be compared to a massive storm. She's also 5'2". Barely.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: "Vienna"
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Isaac. Naturally leading to the occasional mishearing.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: "Enough for Now" is about a man who wanted a son to inherit his name, but had a daughter instead. The lyrics suggest that it's about the grandfather of a band member.


Video Example(s):


How to Save a Life

Dr. Cox can't forgive himself after accidentally giving transplant patients organs infected with rabies.

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