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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2010
I was first introduced to Frank Turner by Love, Ire & Song's, title track, the album's dramatic centerpiece. Putting on an mp3 of the song I acquired from a friend a few months after the album's release in March 2008, I was surprised by how moved I found myself. Turner's rage against apathy, as exemplified in the heartfelt chorus of "Let's be young, let's be crass enough to care," was unlike anything I'd heard before. I searched on YouTube for more of his material, and discovered Reasons Not to Be An Idiot - an uplifting song which urges the listener to enjoy life rather than wallow in his own self-pity. As soon as I heard Frank sing the lines: "She's not as pretty as she thinks she is - just picture her after she's had kids! I bet she sits at home and listens to The Smiths..." I was sold.

I got the album soon after, which became the soundtrack of my summer - my fondest memory being listening to it on the walks I'd started taking. The quality of songwriting, as sampled by my first exposure, turned out to be constant throughout. Turner's songs often take a narrative form, and as such everything he writes tends to have a point, be it the lamentation of the past in Jet Lag, the refusal to resign oneself to a monotonous adulthood in Photosynthesis or the celebration of friendship in St. Christopher Is Coming Home. In a generation with such lyrical insights as "Oh oh oh, this sex is on fire," it was refreshing to discover an artist who actually has something to say.

If one word can best describe Turner, it's 'genuine'. Few other artists are so detached from any superficial musical scene or trend. Consequently it's hard to define his music - it's too epic to be folk, but too acoustic-based to be rock. Perhaps it's best just to describe it as heartfelt music produced by an ordinary, but nevertheless interesting and intelligent man. It's on account of his integrity that he's able to pull off a beautiful song such as Long Live the Queen, written about the death of a close friend, without appearing crass. Likewise, the incredible opener I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous could not have been written by any other artist. Beginning as a quiet pondering on everyday existence, the song eventually explodes and culminates with the potent statement, "The only thing that's left to do is live." Turner possesses the skill to take the simple aspects of contemporary life and turn them into a celebration.

Throughout the album, Frank covers pretty much the entire emotional spectrum - amusement, joy, anger, sadness, love and inspiration. The running theme throughout is that every song will make you feel something. It is for this reason that Frank Turner, and his fantastic second album, should be treated preciously.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 January 2009
Ah, Frank Turner. I am so glad I know about Frank, but I also sort of wish I had the pleasure of discovering him and all his music again. So if you don't know much about him, you are in for an almighty treat.

In short: if you've come this far, you should buy this. You get an awful lot of songs - all of which will improve your music collection - for very little money. Frank Turner is brilliant.

In long:

Thanks to this release, you now only need to buy two products - this collection and his first studio album, Sleep Is for the Week - to get effectively everything Frank has done.

Love Ire and Song is Frank's spectacularly good second studio album. It contains the singles Long Live the Queen and Reasons Not To Be An Idiot, which have received a lot of press coverage over the past few months. It also contains some of the most majestic songwriting I have ever heard. In particular Photosynthesis (a spectacular ode to not wasting your life away), the title track, and the soaring I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous (listen to the second half and you will understand). Add to this the uplifting and reassuring Reasons... and the magical and emotional Long Live The Queen, and Love, Ire and Song is an album to utterly savour. Without wanting to over face you, it is my favourite album of all time, and is song after song of brilliance. The words are superb, the music fits them perfectly, and that makes this songwriting of the highest order.

The First Three Years contains a variety of things that will mean different things to you depending on how much you know about Frank: all the tracks from the two early EPs, Campfire Punkrock and The Real Damage; songs from a split Frank did with Jonah Matranga, and a collection of demos, alternative versions and covers. Depending on where you're coming from for this CD, you'll want to hear different things.

If you've never heard of Frank before, then this is a great place to start. On The First Three Years are plenty of songs to set the scene of Frank - particularly the statement of intent that is Nashville Tennessee, and This Town Ain't Big Enough for the One of Me - a hilarious and frightfully accurate account of growing up in a small town. But then that is the joy of Frank - the ability to say things that at once seem utterly honest and unique to him, and yet at the same time which sum up all the things you've felt in a way far more articulate and poetic than you will ever manage. (Or at least that's what the joy of Frank is for me.)

If you've got Frank's solo albums, but only come to it recently, then you may not have had a chance to get the two EPs, and the songs from them are worth buying this for alone. The songs from them are of as high a quality as those on the albums, and the EPs don't seem to be available on CD any more.

As someone who quickly gobbles up everything that comes from Turner, I had most of these songs already from one location or another, but The First Three Years was still worth getting. Of the non EP songs, the Truck Session version of Imperfect Tense (available from Frank's web site if you bought Long Live The Queen) is probably my favourite: the rocky album track recast here as a heart-rending slow anthem. Other than that, and the rock version of Jet Lag - which works really well too - the covers (including The Postal Service and Black Flag) are all interesting and the beauty of them is that Frank means them. And that includes the closer, Dancing Queen, which is awesome. The demos are interesting for Frank aficionados, and if you haven't got Sleep is for the Week, then you also get versions of two of its best tracks - The Real Damage and Worse Things Happen At Sea.

As you can probably imagine, this music means a lot to me. If you get even 1/100th of the enjoyment from these CDs that I have, it will be money well spent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2009
I stumbled upon this after downloading 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' off i-Tunes as a free single of the week. The songwriting is spellbinding, every time I listen to the 'Love, Ire and Song' album in full I am drawn in completely to it's stories of love, loss, regret, death, life and growing up. He sings with conviction and energy and most importantly the songs are great.
'The First Three Years' album was a brilliant surprise as I don't normally bother with extra tracks or rarities. The songs are brimming with nostalgia, melody and again are just great songs. The covers of established tracks such as 'Dancing Queen' and 'You Are My Sunshine' are sung faithfully in style to the original versions and help enhance the feeling of nostalgia.
I find it hard to believe that there is nothing here that anybody could enjoy. The songs are truthful, relatable and reassuringly compassionate and easy to listen to. Give it a try, you get a lot for your money both in quantity and quality with the 2CD version I've reviewed.
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on 9 November 2009
Frank Turner put down some magical words, where i can recognize myself (I am 3 month older than Frank, he was bron December 1981). So we are both twenty-something.
This is some acoustic punkrock.
Photosynthesis, The Real Damage and Casanova Lament are lyrical masterpieces.
It was worth each penny and for me the discovery of the year.
True and honest, is what comes to my mind, just by listening to his lyrics.

Check out his other albums, Poetry of the Deed and Sleep is for the week.

I also bought his DVD "It's all about the Destination" Which is filmed very poorly. You will see him through his travels of one year, touring little venues and giving his thoughts on society. It's tough to listen too.
I wouldn't buy it again. The vids are pretty cool though. So i would be very tempted to still buy it, as he just fascinates me.
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on 7 October 2010
I first heard Frank Turner's song "Reasons not to be an Idiot" about two years ago one morning on Radio 1 and I loved it because it made me think of my sister. It had appealed to me because the lyrics were simple and straightforward, no airs or graces, just talking about normal emotions and situations. After that I forgot about him for a bit. But then I rediscovered the song and looked at his other stuff. I fell in love.

He was the best thing I'd ever heard and I maintain he still is. Every song in this album is accessible and understandable but so deep and different to anything else you hear.

I hadn't heard much folk before this album but I've heard a lot since and I've never looked back. Frank Turner is an amazing artist, much better than most of the stuff in the charts and imho everyone should listen to this album.
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on 27 July 2010
Hello Frank, where have you been all my music life! I've got to thank Greenday for introducing me to Frank Turner, he was one of their suporting acts at their concert at Wembley on 19/06/10. I purchases this album a few days later and can't stop listerning to it. He writes from the heart and you'll find yourself singing his songs even when your not listerniing to them! He truly is a great artist and i think i'll be a fan for life now.
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on 8 November 2012
Hi, this was a MP3 download - very impressed. All tracks.
The lyrics can be related to someone else {personal view/ 80's Britain...}, however the guitar and composition are outstanding.
Love to wind up the valve amp when the neighbours go out...
Will follow in future and see if small venue uni tours are available.

Best G.
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on 2 November 2009
a host of thought-provoking songs, distinctively different, intriguing, intelligent lyrics - such a treat. Saw him play these Live at the O2 Shepherds Bush last week to an ecstatic audience who sang along with every word... brilliant! Love, Ire & Song is the ideal first Frank Turner album to listen to.
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on 19 May 2010
Love, ire and song is the best frank turner album in my opinion. there's everything, from rants about the state of the world to heartbreaking emotive songs about long distance love. i pretty much havent stopped listening to it, and it's on right now.
please buy it and support this beautiful music!!!
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on 8 November 2012
The excitement I felt when I first heard Frank Turner rates with the same buzz I got when I first heard The Clash and the Sex Pistols back in the early 70's. Going to see him at the 02 supporting the Pogues....can't think of a better way to spend the evening!
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