Friday, June 10, 2011

Album Review: Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones

I've been quite the Frank Turner fan over the last year or so, first hearing his last album Poetry Of The Deed I was immediately consumed with his lyrics, this singer/song writer from England was more than your average BAS musician as his songs seems like everyday problems and at times some cool uplifting moments to. Now for those of you who don't know who Frank Turner is he was the former front man of hardcore band Million Dead.

Every album so far has shown different elements of Frank Turners ideas, on Sleep Is For The Week he touches on changes in his life, figuring out what to do next, friends and love. For his second album Love Ire & Song he again looks at love but also subjects like not wasting his life and doing what he loves (music). Both these albums the music is very simple in the acoustic guitar being the standout feature alone, backed by minimal instrumentation. Poetry Of The Deed allowed greater musical touches of keyboard and guitar with songs about life pretty much.

This album continues Frank Turner's journey through life and song, but this time he's much more patriotic to his home land (makes sense considering the title). Starting with the track Eulogy we get a slow trumpet? introduce us before Frank kicks with his words of wisdom, about life, already you can hear the backing instruments are much more hard hitting than before. He delves back into his signature style that has helped him make 3 pretty good albums, his lyrics keep it fresh with the strong possibility of these lyrics touching people personally.

The first real touch of class on this album for me is track five I Am Disappeared, his desire to keep dreaming about life in general and the sincerity in his voice make it hard not to fall in love with this track, the keyboard piece breaking into the sadder moments works too well for its own good. The album takes a surprising and really cool turn on the track One Foot Before The Other, never before on an album has Frank gone as heavy (it's heavy for him anyway) the heavy guitar with some distortion, the thick basslines and hard hitting drums bury the acoustic guitar and you get  hint of Frank about to break out into his former hardcore self.

Sadly this is just a small blip on the album and isn't a sign of things to come, instead he adds other touches to what he does, more horns, more group vocals, more uplifting life lessons about himself. His most obvious patriotic song is Wessex Boy, before this there's moments that keep with the title, but this is probably his main piece, singing about his life in the area, calling Wessex his home and his hope of hearing someone else sing this song.

Overall I feel this is a solid release, my problem with it is the lyrics don't feel as personal as usual, that might be more that its a much more English related album, but just in general the lyrics are a bit meh at times. One thing that I love is he's looked to touch on his past musically, perhaps something he might continue to do on later releases? also he's continued to add a harder edge to the backing instruments but kept his acoustic guitar as the focal point.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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