The Fray divide the world in two. There's those who lose themselves completely in the band's worthy middle America rock and frontman Isaac Slade's deep'n'meaningfuls. Then there's the rest of us, who find it incredibly easy to ignore the band's earnest, po-faced records. To non-believers, The Fray come off as an ungodly mix of Creed and early Keane. Their acolytes might describe hits 'How To Save A Life' and 'Over My Head (Cable Car)' as "inspiring", but they're mistaking vague universality and well-meant bluster for something deeper.
Naming their third album Scars & Stories doesn't inspire much hope that the band have made a radical departure, but 'Heartbeat' is actually their best single to date. Maybe it's the shift from wimpy pianos to chugging guitars, or perhaps it's Slade's previously pained warble being recast as a more throaty, Counting Crows-esque Americana growl. It's so chirpy that, for a change, we don't even mind the clumsy love-as-fire metaphors and other lyrics seemingly focus-group constructed to launch a million tumblrs; "I wanna kiss your scars tonight" indeed.