Tuesday, April 3, 2012

And this is why I don't like the Fray.

I'm sorry. I know I'm supposed to like the Fray. Everyone likes the Fray.

But I just don't.

{courtesy of Facebook}

My hatred for the Fray started out as a casual dislike. I wasn't a huge fan of "Over My Head (Cable Car)." I didn't loathe it, but I didn't love it. I just casually disliked it. But then "How to Save a Life" played on an episode of Grey's Anatomy, and suddenly that song was on every radio station at once. I don't know if you're familiar with New York radio, but for being the biggest city in the world* and an epicenter of pop culture, their radio stations suck big-time. There's one acceptable pop station, which plays the same three songs on a loop. Then you have zero rock stations, one or two decent hip-hop stations, and the adult contemporary station you listen to when you can't possibly hear Selena Gomez one more time without stabbing your ears out.

So anyway, "How to Save a Life" was the stab-your-ears-out song of the moment at a time when I was commuting 60 miles each way on the New Jersey Turnpike, which meant that on a heavy traffic day, I could easily hear the song eight or nine times on my way to work. I still have an angry Pavlovian reaction when I hear the monotone, "Step one, you say we need to talk..."

Which might explain why this video of The Fray butchering the National Anthem made me instantly hostile.

I'm sorry, but this is not your cover song. It's the Star-Spangled freaking Banner! You sing it nice, and you get the words right**.  You don't need to breathe new life into it. We all know it's a kinda boring song with hard words to remember, but it's the national anthem, which means it's not your song to fix. More important artists have sung it without "re-inventing" it -- stop being so cool. And by the way, "Some sort of window to your right / Where he goes left and you stay right"? Worst line ever. There are like fifty words that rhyme with "right." Use one of them.


 Did I mention the angry Pavlovian reaction?

* Right? I didn't fact-check this. Could be Tokyo.

** Ahem, Christina Aguilera. I mean, come on, I know the words by heart and I've never gotten paid to sing it!


  1. Bravo! I've never liked them either, and I LOATHE people who take liberties and screw up the national anthem. It can be a beautiful song when sung the way it was intented--simply, strongly, and in a normal key (not the really super high screechy soprano everyone tries to make it).

  2. True! (Although Whitney Houston killed it -- in a good way -- as a soprano!)

    P.S> I had to change the band pic. That greenish cross-processed pic was eating my brain.

  3. Haha. How to Save a Life is one of my guilty pleasures. I'll admit it, I googled the lyrics once.