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Reviewed by Mike Farley
The lead song, "Syndicate," takes exactly 45 seconds to build into a huge chorus, a trick Slade and company can now perform in their sleep. It also does this effectively as a mid-tempo track, as does the next number, "Absolute." "You Found Me" was first introduced on an episode of (you guessed it) "Grey’s Anatomy" back in November as well as on "Lost," and it’s, well, more of the same formula. But the best tracks are the ones in which Slade broods in minor keys while the piano is doing some sort of counter-melody – like "Say When," or the falsetto-laced, David Gray-ish "Ungodly Hour."
What’s missing mostly here is an upbeat track – something along the lines of "She Is" from the band’s debut, because sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much of the same thing. Still, the Fray has found a niche and won’t let go of it just yet, because it’s likely putting the band members’ kids through college and setting them up with boats and summer homes and other things a tough economy makes hard to come by otherwise. And a struggling music industry needs bands like this – bands that know their broad audience, and know that sometimes a winning formula is what’s needed to keep that audience, and to keep music supervisors and programmers smiling.