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4.7 out of 5 stars71
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2011
I must admit to never have heard of Frank Turner until this years festivals.
I was just flicking through the channels and saw Frank's set from Reading/Leeds and was blown away, and I went out and ordered this CD.
I was not disappointed and went on to but the other three studio albums.
Having read a lot of other reviews, I feel a little bit of shame that i didnt hear of this guy before, he is most definitely the best artist of his kind at the moment and the songs he writes are truly inspiring, melodic, cheeky and every other superlative that you can think of. Its intelligent and moving and makes you want to have a beer and realise that it aint so bad after all.

Eulogy, will be on my headstone when I am done on this world !
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2015
I am currently going through some kind of Frank Turner fan-boy phase in a big way, and his fourth studio album, 2011's 'England Keep My Bones' is currently on heavy rotation. As with all this man's releases, the guy has made brilliant record of folk/rock music that will inspire, encourage and motivate. The songs here are the kind that you'll want listen to if you have a bad day to lift you up again. Songs so powerful that they almost make you feel reborn.

Many of the tracks here deal with the theme of protest and survival, and the master singer/songwriter, as always, pays his respects to his past loves, countrymen, and musical rock idols that came before him. The opener 'Eulogy' is an epic, with a great, positive message that I will take on board, the soulful 'Peggy Sang the Blues' is further proof of this guy's genius, and 'I Still Believe', which has a pretty straight forward meaning, music save us, specifically rock and roll, and how true that is.

Frank is an atheist, and some of the songs here are anti-religion, some of which are more subtle than others. I'm not an atheist myself, but I respect his views, and they don't prevent from playing this disc on repeat at all, my one expectation is 'Glory Hallelujah', the complete opposite of a church hymn which I have to be in the mood for.

Enjoy 'England Keep My Bones' as much as I do, as we anticipatedly wait for this next album due to be released later in the year. Many thanks Mr. Turner!
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on 11 June 2011
I, a Wessex born southern boy have been a fan of Mr Turner's since the days of the Railway. Whilst his last album was a foray into the heavier side of life; England Keep My Bones is classic Frank folk through and through, him doing what he does best. There is not a weak song in here. We have personal lyrics and exquisite guitar. This is absolutely an album up there with, what I think is his best, Love Ire and Song. Frank is a God.Love Ire and Song
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on 18 April 2012
I loved 'Wessex Boy' when I first heard it, but I'm not one to buy an album on the back of hearing one track. But then when the first play of 'I Still Believe' reached my ears, I was straight on Amazon. So glad I bought it - one of those CDs where you turn up the volume a bit with each new track, until there just is no more up! It's inspiring, it's patriotic, it makes you move, and 'English Curse' is an absolute goosebumps song. Turner's voice is strong and passionate, and I'm off to find some of his other albums. Brilliant CD :)
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on 8 July 2011
This is an awesome combination of angry shouty punk that still sounds very Frank Turner, like in I am Disappeared, but also some great folky Englishy songs like the ones from Love Ire & Song, like Rivers and Wessex Boy. And then there's Glory Hallelujah, which is an epic atheist tune and possibly my favourite...Then again, my favourite changes every time I listen to the album. The only one off the Rock 'n Roll EP is I Still Believe, which sounds amazing on the record, but even better live when there's a bunch of you yelling it. :D It's definitely getting the deluxe version, because the extra tracks are just as good as the ones on the album. If you have been listening to Frank Turner for a while and like his stuff, buy this album. If you like folk/punk/bluesy rocky stuff, buy this album. If you like music you should get it. I promise you will enjoy it. A LOT. :D
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on 31 July 2012
Everything I had ever purchased by Frank Turner previously had been great, which is probably why I took so long to decide to buy "England Keep My Bones" - I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my high expectations...and I was right to be worried. Don't get me wrong - there are some very good songs on this album, but it just doesn't have that special something that Frank Turner is usually so good at producing - the feeling it gives you isn't quite as deep as it was on "Sleep is for the Week" or "Love, Ire and Song". Some of it feels a bit fake, like he's trying too hard. But there are also a handful of absolute gems to be found - "Rivers", "English Curse" and "If I Ever Stray" are fantastic examples of what Frank Turner can produce when he's on top form.
Overall it's a good album - nothing more, nothing less.
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on 25 April 2012
I only heard of Frank Turner as he'd been booked to headline the Beautiful Days festival in August.. So I thought I'd better see who this guy was! I first ventured onto Spotify and listened to Wessex Boy which was the most 'popular' one on there, loving that I then listened to I am disappeared which is unbelievably good! I then purchased the cd. After around 2 months of listening to nothing but Frank Turner and his back catalogue I am kicking myself for not getting into this sooner. This album is by far the best thing I've heard in the last 3 years and knocks the spots of any of that commercial rubbish around. Genuine decent tunes with lyrics you can relate to. If you like your rock/country/folk with a bit of a punkish feel, Frank's your man!
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2013
I'm one of the latecomers to the Frank Turner scene - stumbling upon the brilliant 'Love Ire & Song' far too many years too late. To be honest, any curious new-potential fans should also stop by that album first, as it's much quicker to get into and the style is a bit, shall we say, lighter. Whilst the more hard-core fans seemed to have taken to this album instantly (credit to you, you got to enjoy this sooner!)... I found that it took a few attempts to really get into it. The sound is a lot bigger and bolder, where Frank's supporting band are playing a considerably more prominent role - And Frank himself is taking his style to a more 'stadium' level, which dilutes the lighter folky edge from the previous album. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing... but it's enough of a change that it can feel unusual at first. To be honest, the start of the album is perhaps the trickiest, as that brings forth more of the anthems and stadium tracks - which will feel like the greatest contrast to Frank's earlier work

My only real gripe with the album is that lyrically, the songs lack the punch of his earlier work. It's more the topics... the gist of a good handful is "I love England. It is home". Whilst not bad, it lacks the sticking power of 'Long Live The Queen', 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' and such - which carried with them far more powerful messages, which were a large part of Frank Turner's appeal

What I will say is, if you're going to go for the album: Go for the Deluxe DVD Edition. It comes packed with 3 additional songs, which are absolutely brilliant. In fact I'd say that 2 of them are some of the best on the album. So it's well worth chipping in that little extra to nab them

1. Eulogy - Totally an in-your-face opener at a concert to get things rolling! Less of a song, more something to proudly shout at everyone
2. Peggy Sang The Blues - This pretty much shows off the new style. There's a lot more instruments at play and it's very stadium-esque. Quite decent
3. I Still Believe - Clearly the anthem of the track. Big, bold and one built for huge crowds to join in
4. Rivers - This should appeal to the retro fans. An elegant acoustic-guitar driven track. A little reminder that the charm of Love Ire & Song hasn't been left out
5. I Am Disappeared - I'm still not sure about this one. Bold and quite rocky with a good chorus - but it seems to lack an edge
6. English Curse - A spoken curse and a little bit of English history. Personally it's just a filler
7. One Foot Before The Other - Certainly the heaviest song on the album with quite a dark, almost punkesque sound to it. It's not bad, but certainly more stadium-orientated
8. If Ever I Stray - A very charming, upbeat and all-round fun song. It's hard not to dance to this one... the beat is just so jumpy!
9. Wessex Boy - Easily my all-time favourite on the album. A brilliant collection of guitars with an almost Irish-folk feel to it. The mid-8/bridge is utterly gorgeous. A real feel-good piece
10. Nights Become Days - A quaint little piece. It feels a bit underwhelming after 'Wessex Boy', but is pleasant enough
11. Redemption - A bit more of a sombre 'I Am Disappeared'. The piano on the chorus is a very nice touch
12. Glory Hallelujah - This one's very clever. It's ultimately the style of those "clap because Jesus loves you" choir songs - But with a solid rock-kick up the backside. Brilliant lyrics and a valid observation on religion

The bonus ones you can (and should) get in the Deluxe Edition. I'd say that these really hark back to Frank Turner's earlier style

13. A Song For Eva Mae - This one is absolutely beautiful. Pretty much just Frank and the acoustic guitar - A divine song for his god-daughter
14. Wanderlust - A mournful, yet driving song. You can almost imagine coasting along the road to this one. It's darkly delightful
15. Bathazar, Impresario - One of my favourites. It's deceptively simple, but a fitting closer to the album with a brilliant resonant chorus. The strings are a perfect accompliment

So overall, it's a fine album! It needs a bit more patience than 'Live Ire & Song' but is almost just as rewarding!

Peace
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2013
It's rare these days for anyone to create an album on a theme, but this one - written by master lyricist Frank Turner about his love for England - is beautifully crafted, and makes me more patriotic than I have felt for a long time.

If you're new to Frank Turner, prepare yourself for a wonderful selection of poetic and profound lyrics, which will uplift you, make you shiver and occasionally make you well up. Well, that's what you'll do if you're anything like me or the hundreds of thousands who have been converted to followers by his constant touring and the constant and improving quality of his songwriting.

If you're not new to Frank, but don't buy this album: on release, it felt to me like perhaps his best work, even if the far more raw Love Ire & Song [Explicit] perhaps means more to me personally. The songwriting is taken to a new level, and in making the songs - deliberately or not - centre around his love for England, this feels like a true album: something that should be consumed as a whole.

There are numerous highlights, starting with the singles: the stomping Peggy Sang The Blues, the catchy, live favourite If Ever I Stray, the beautiful Wessex Boy - an ode to having a truly British home town - and the spectacular anthem I Still Believe, made extra famous by its broadcast as part of the Olympic open ceremony. But of course the true quality of an album like this is in the album tracks, and this one is singularly spectacular: from the mini opening track, Eulogy to the awesome closer, Glory Hallelujah, via the soaring I Am Disappeared and stomping One Foot Before The Other, this is superb.

It's no exaggeration to say Frank Turner has had a profound effect on my life, and this is a superb place to start, continue or complete your Frank collection.

(Oh, and as a post-script, if you can get the deluxe edition, the extra tracks that come with that are well worth a few extra quid: the lovely Song For Eva Mae, written about his goddaughter, the heart-wrendingly sad Wanderlust, the soaring and brilliant Balthazar, Impresario - containing some of my favourite Frank lyrics so far - and sometimes the starkly simple Sailor's Boots.)
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Frank Turner has reached a crossroads as this album demonstrates. On the one hand he wants to maintain his loveable folk punk poet persona while on the other you suspect he wants to be a rock star of Springsteen proportions with punch the air rock anthems of the highest order. His socialist protest songs are truly admirable and yes we all know that he comes from a very privileged background but them so did Joe Strummer. At the end of the day its about commitment and Frank gives it all in terms of his live act, relentless touring and his championing of good causes. More than any other singer since Billy Bragg the music of Frank Turner emphasizes a distinct egalitarian form of "Englishness" and draws on a folk tradition of protest and dissent which is able to tap into a wide audience. As such Turner is proud of his linage and sings with real passion in "Rivers" about the need to "place your trust into the sea/It's kept us safe for centuries/It shaped our shores and steadily/Its care has brought us, come/When I die, I hope to be buried out in English seas/So all that then remains of me/Will lap against these shores". There is nothing wrong with this at all and as someone from an equally proud Welsh background its great to see an English singer thinking deeply about cultural heritage which doesn't involve wrapping himself in the Union Jack. That said the folk protest of "English curse" harking back to William's invasion in 1066 and its impact on rural England has a sort of "Hey nonny nonny" finger in your ear solemnity which gives folk a bad name. Similarly while the preachy "I still believe" can be located in Guthrie style protest it is not really that original, neither is the celebratory atheist hymn "Glory hallelujah".

The good news alternatively is that when Turner worries less about his location in the protest genre and starts to fully concentrate on the songs he has the ability to write storming music. The clearest example is "I am disappeared" which goes well beyond his usual basic acoustic style instrumentations and with the employment of a band behind him he pens one of the best rock songs of 2011. Its influences are clearly drawn from Springsteen and Craig Finn but it is here that his Englishness is used to construct something new and original namely a propulsive road rock song full of local references and place names which is a powerful beast. The swirling joyous music that is "Peggy sang the blues" equally shows that when Turner is not proletysing he can write superb pop songs which many of contemporaries would envy through deep shades of green. My point here is simple and centres on the fact that there certainly is a need in these troubled times for someone to "tell it like it is" and "afflict the comfortable". Yet it is often the case that the greatest protest songs are not the in your face Frank Turner style anthems but deeply thoughtful and shatteringly powerful songs like "Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" or the landmark originality of the Specials era defining "Ghost town". In large parts "England take my bones" is a great passionate album full of fervour and heart. But in the famous words of the teacher "Frank Turner could do better" and that will mean less overt populism and more deep thoughtful reflection. Frank Turner has a truly great album in him but this isn't it .......yet.
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