somewhere along in the bitterness

posted at 8:18 pm by brandon in mine's on the 45

The date to circle in giant red ink on your calendar: February 3, 2009, which is when the massively gifted Isaac Slade and his terrific band The Fray follow up their multiplatinum breakthrough How to Save a Life (which, two years ago, produced an astonishing trifecta of monster radio smashes, most notably its strikingly somber title track, a tune that surveys a man’s failure to prevent a friend’s suicide) with a hotly-anticipated self-titled sophomore album.


The new record is teased by a gripping, richly cinematic lead single
“You Found Me”  The Fray - You Found Me - Single - You Found Me (which you’ve no doubt heard promoting the forthcoming fifth season of “Lost,” due to premiere next month), on which Slade slips completely inside the story of a young man who stumbles upon God on an everyday street corner — smoking His last cigarette, natch — and violently abrades Him for taking away the love of his life. (If the tune’s thrust seems hopelessly dopey in synopsis, you just gotta trust me when I tell you: it’s a wrenching yet soaring masterpiece in practice.) Slade is a marvel to behold as he stretches his miraculous voice across “Found’s” devastatingly taut lyric and — insofar as he never quite travels where you expect him to inside the song’s core — allows the piano-centric melody to constantly surprise you by veering off in surprising detours and falling into unpredictable rhythms. A tough listen, to be sure, but an unspeakably rewarding one, “You Found Me” is a harrowing highwire act, and a thoroughly riveting aural triumph.


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