"The Wind" is nothing special, utilizing the theme of abandonment that the band best used in its single "You Found Me," from its second album.
On the other hand, "1961" is an absolutely genius track. It uses the Berlin Wall as a metaphor for the emotional walls we put up to cut ourselves off from people, to cut ourselves off from being hurt, and how it just takes a single person to come into our lives and make us realize how damaging our walls are.
"I Can Barely Say" is a bit more vague with its theme, but from what I interpreted, it's an encouraging song about getting back together with someone you love after the relationship has ended. It's genuinely beautiful and is a perfect blend of old and new Fray.
"Munich" is very much about an existential crisis. Why are we here, and more importantly, why do we want to know so badly?
The next song, "48 To Go," is upbeat -- a word I never in my life thought I'd use to describe a song by The Fray. It's a love ballad about enjoying a relationship and being excited about your future as a couple.
"Rainy Zurich" gives guitarist Joe King a chance to shine, and while Slade's voice is definitely better suited for the band as a whole, King provides an excellent vocal performance here. Like "The Fighter," it's usual territory for The Fray, but King's vocals manage to make it more unique.
The final song, "Be Still," is the "I'll Stand By You" for this generation. It's an amazing song about love -- platonic, paternal and romantic. It includes the verse, "If you forget the way to go/And lose where you came from/If no one is standing beside you/Be still and know I am."
"Scars & Stories" is a difficult album to review because it's very much an experiment. The reception it receives likely will influence which direction the band takes with its next album. Overall, while The Fray still deals with repetitive themes, it also has songs that feature either atypical subjects for the band or have a new sound to help distinguish it from being the American Coldplay.
If "How To Save A Life" or "The Fray" didn't interest you, I still recommend giving "Scars & Stories" a listen. If the band continues with this new direction, the next album should (hopefully) be its best.