Now I am not going to pretend that I have been following Frank Turner since he first appeared on stage, singing in his Junior school end of term play. However, I am going to wax lyrical about the greatness of his latest offering. I stumbled upon his wonderful live presence whilst waiting for James at last years' Latitude and he ended up as my highlight of the day.
As for this album, it is full of clever lyrics and choruses that you just want to shout out of the window of your car as you fly along a dull dual carriageway (within the legal speed limits ofcourse!). It is also full of historical references-which I love-few albums have a song about William Rufus in them (English Curse).
At the risk of upsetting the purist fans (but for the benefit of those who have yet to buy a Frank Turner album) this album is reminiscent of Billy Bragg's album about Englishness...with a touch of the Levellers' early albums. Heavier, and not quite as good as "Love, Ire & Song" but still brimming with sing-along anthemic classics. "I Still Believe" deserves to be sung by a crowd of thousands whilst songs like "Rivers", "Song for Eva Mae"(bonus song on the limited edition version) and "I am Disappeared" can be enjoyed at home, with a pint of ale, roaring fire and tear in one's eye. "Redemption" is what those prone to emotional openness would call 'beautiful' and just another facet of this varied album.
I was going to give this album 4 stars as it is less amazing than "Love, Ire & Song"...then I thought that this was unfair. This is Frank Turner's second best album. I will give "Love, Ire and Song" 6 out of 5!