Boulder to Birmingham
By now, The Fray is kind of the sonic equivalent of a pint of ice cream: familiar, comforting yet indulgent and best served with a side of rom-com or breakup blues. And like your go-to chick flick or Ben & Jerry's flavor, you know what to expect here: plaintive falsettos, earnest snarling, stirring synthscapes, dramatic inhalations, introspective pianos, a pop-rock palette ranging from electro-pop to a twinge of country ("Run for Your Life"), metaphors about rain ("Rainy Zurich"). These guys have perfected the craft of heartstring-pulling. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll go back for seconds.