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103
4.7 out of 5 stars
Tape Deck Heart [Explicit]
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2013
Tape Deck Heart is a more introspective album than much of Frank's previous work. If you're looking for jaunty singalongs or call to arms like Try This At Home, Photosynthesis or even I Still Believe, then there isn't quite as much of that here.

That's not to say these are 18 tracks that will leave you eyeing your shoelaces as if you've been stuck in a room with Radiohead on repeat.

It starts with a thunderous chorus that is Recovery. That gives you the jumping, pumping, pushing, shoving, standing-on-everyone-else's-toes singalong that people go to gigs for. Even with that, though, there's a serious undercurrent, especially with lyrics such as: "Well darling now I'm sinking, I'm as lost as lost can be and I was hoping you could drag me up from down here towards my recovery" - even if it is a line likely to be shouted at the tops of peoples' voices at shows.

Losing Days has some superb, upbeat mandolin playing from Matt Nasir, which leads into the best track on the album. The Way I Tend To Be isn't just beautifully performed with a hauntingly superb chorus, it has genuine heart to it. There's a statuesque symmetry to the poetry of the final verse.
"Because I said I love you so many times that the words kinda die in my mouth //
And I meant it each time with each beautiful woman but somehow it never works out //
You stood apart in my calloused heart and you taught me and here's what I learned //
That love is about the changes you make and not just three small words"

It's from there that the tone for the rest of the songwriting continues.

Plain Sailing Weather builds from its spoken start to six minutes of almost unexpected self-vilification, with Good And Gone hinting at the darker sides of being a rock star.

The mood reaches its nadir with Tell Tale Signs, from which the album gets its title with the final lyric: "You will always be a part of my patched-up patchwork taped-up tape-deck heart".

The album moves onto the absolute delight that is Four Simple Words. A favourite at gigs for a year or so, most fans will be familiar with the slow start and tub-thumping "hi ho hi ho" pay-off that storms into an almighty singalong.

Polaroid Picture is an apt title for a song decrying the loss of things gone by, while The Fisher King Blues is almost an examination of songwriting itself.

Of the later tracks, it is perhaps Tattoos that sticks with me the most, with the lyrics about "straight-edge" and "buddy tattoos with people who aren't my friends" almost a marker put down to signal that this is the album to show how far he has come.

For me, that's the key thing: this isn't the same type of work that England Keep My Bones [Explicit] is, which isn't to say it's worse either. It's just different - but tracks like Recovery and Four Simple Words will keep fans jumping around for years to come.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2013
Tape Deck Heart is different to Frank's previous albums, but in a good way. The influences of Rich Costley (Producer) are clear, never have Frank & The Sleeping Souls sounded so good. You can tell they spent 30 days paying attention to every minute detail. The production on Broken Piano is incredible.

Four Simple Words is arguably Franks greatest song in terms of live show fun. The album version is no let down, from the quiet opening to crashing drums and guitar solos, it is one of the catchiest songs he has ever written.

What this album has is strength in depth. It is crammed from start to finish with brilliant songs - some fun, some brutally honest - and only really takes a breather for the quieter solo song Anymore. This quality continues in the bonus deluxe tracks (which are definitely worth paying the extra for) Cowboy Chords is stunning, and Time Machine see's Frank disappear off into a more Weezer-esque direction, but he comes out the other side with one of the funnest lyrics ever: "I'm a gonna build myself a time machine, on particle physics and the power of steam"

This lyric perfectly en-captures what is by far the best thing about this album - the meaning and (sometimes) fun Frank has put into the lyrics. Go and listen to The Way I Tend To Be, Four Simple Words and Broken Piano and you will see the brilliance of Tape Deck Heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2013
Frank Turner is quite simply the best British singer songwriter of his generation. Tape Deck Heart builds on his previous releases and lifts him to another level. Frank has described this as a 'break up album' and at times it's so raw as to be almost brutal. Fortunately, this man knows how to create a melody as good as anyone around and these songs will stick in your head and hearts a long time after the music stops. My current favourites (they change daily) are Anymore, Tell Tale Signs and Oh Brother. Yesterday it was Polaroid Picture and Broken Piano. There are very few 'perfect' albums, this is as close as is possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
I am a diehard Frank Turner fan. I think the man is a pure poetic genius who sings and plays his heart out.

This album isn't always comfortable to listen to because it's all about a breakup. He makes some harsh observations and digs deep. There are a couple of sing-song songs, but mostly melancholic ballads.

It's more experimental than his previous records. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

All hail Frank, the king of broken hearts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2013
At first I wasn't sure about the album, it seemed to be full of similar songs and a lot slower than other albums. but as the album went on I could hear the angry Frank I know and love coming through more. And the more times I listen to the album, the more a start to think that it might actually be my favourite album!
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2013
There's a (possibly apocryphal) story about Joni Mitchell being told by her advisor that she couldn't release the album Blue, and particularly the song, River, because it was 'too true'. Other than that album - which is spectacular in all its ways - the first time I've been faced by anything comparable is here, on Frank Turner's fifth studio album.

Far more personal than the more concept-based England Keep My Bones, Tape Deck Heart isn't quite a heart-break album, but it does expose what feels like incredibly personal and at times very dark thoughts and feelings in what one poster on a Forum described as 'a bit close to the bone'. What feels amazing, is that it feels like it's a bit close to the bone not just because it feels so personal to Frank, but because it feels so personal to me: in its truth, and in Frank's almost unique ability to articulate things in a way which at once is both personal and universal, Tape Deck Heart cuts me to the core on almost every listen.

And on top of that, one of the most amazing thing about Frank Turner is that - as he came to songwriting in this fashion relatively recently in his life (having previously been part of punk rock band Million Dead), with each album his songcraft improves, becoming more clever, more polished and - for me - more affecting.

On this album, the highlights are numerous: there are some songs which feel so much the ready-made pop hits that Frank was perhaps looking for on his third album, Poetry of the Deed. Here, look no further than Recovery and The Way I Tend To Be, but don't be fooled - pop songs they may be, but they are that with more truth than you will find almost anywhere else in music, and with incredibly articulated sentiments flying out each time you listen. Then there is the anthem, Four Simple Words, which sylistically owes a lot to Frank's affection for Vaudeville, and feels already as much a fixture in the live sets as some of his oldest favourites.

But for me the highlights come either side of that track. One one side, in the heart-wrending and brilliant Tell Tale Signs, which improves both for depth of lyrics and the musicality with every listen. And on the other in Polaroid Picture, which captures perfectly that period in life when you realise that things will not be the same forever: that people leave your life, times change and everything changes. It's a good job there's a chance to dance and stomp along to Four Simple Words in between them, or I think it would be a bit much for me.

Love Ire and Song will always hold something elemental for me, as it was the first Frank album that I bought at the time of its release, and England Keep My Bones is brilliantly crafted stuff, with that fantastic English folk feel, but with it's shivers-down-the-spine honesty and brilliant songwriting, I think Tape Deck Heart might just be Frank's best work yet.
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on 18 June 2013
I've been a Frank fan for a few years now and it's pleasing to see him getting more coverage as a result of his Olympic exploits last year.

On "Tape Deck Heart", the political nature of some of his previous efforts take a back seat as Frank focusses on things much closer to home. Although no stranger to songs containing quite personal lyrics & themes (eg. "Long Live the Queen", "Peggy Sang the Blues"), this is easily his most reflective effort, as a result of the recurring break up theme running through many of the songs.

As a whole, this is another strong album, and fans both new and old should enjoy much of what is on offer. As with previous releases, the energy tends to be focussed into a selection of the songs, with generally well crafted softer material alongside.

The stand out tracks on the standard version are the lead single "Recovery", "The Way I Tend To Be" and "Four Simple Words". If you are going to buy this album, it's well worth the little extra for the deluxe version and the hidden gems within that include "Time Machine" and "Cowboy Chords".

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt that there are a few tracks that get lost and forgotten amongst the rest, something that was not really the case with "Love Ire & Song" and "England Keep My Bones".
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on 27 May 2013
This is a great CD, and is full of all the timeless singalongs and unique anecdotes that you'd expect from Frank. Although Recovery and The Way I Tend to Be are definitely stand-out tracks, the rest of the album by no means pales into insignificance, and I don't agree with those who say these are the best two tracks on the album. After the upbeat, slightly reflective nature of the first three tracks, as soon as "Plain Sailing Weather" kicks in with all the energy and enthusiasm Frank and the band always put into their music, you know this is going to be a fantastic album. "Tell Tale Signs" is a brilliant track with some of the most poetic lyrics, and will get you marvelling at Frank's craft again each time you listen. "Polaroid Picture" keeps with Frank's style while having a unique sound, followed by "The Fisher King Blues" which is more reminiscent of tracks like "To Take You Home", much more folky. "Oh Brother" is possibly my favourite on the album, full of hooks and clever lyrics more like "Photosynthesis". "Broken Piano" is one that no-one really talks about but sheds a light on just how diverse Frank's songwriting abilities are, and is a favourite of mine.

Great album, you won't be disappointed!
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on 21 October 2013
I only herd frank turner properly this summer standing in a hot dusty field in reading (yes it was the festival)I had herd a couple of songs at the Olympics I enjoyed them but hadn't really paid much attention so I went to see the set more curious than anything. The very next day I rushed out and bought this album or rather I went on to amazon and bought it here.

I was very pleased that many of the songs I had seen and enjoyed in that field this summer were on the album and had translated so well I have seen a few results on here saying some of Franks other albums are better but as I have no basis for comparison I think it's a really good album which I enjoy listening to as much as I like Opposites by Biffy Clyro(buy that before you read on it's really good I'll wait...got it good I'll now finish the review) there are two standout's on this album for me all the songs are good but recovery and four simple words are my standouts at the moment.

The nice surprise in the title was that If you buy this you get the MP3 album free so you can put it on to your i pod or mobile and start listing to it right away if you want to I'd highley recommend this album to anyone who is considering it don't wait just buy it now.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Britains best songwriter returns. They don't make 'em like the used to. Unless you're Frank Turner. An album every two years. 1,400 live shows in 7 years and counting. And, unlike many artists, who use their good ideas up in the first five years - and after which, fade into embarrassing irrelevancy and tired xeroxes of greater moments - Frank Turner, the guitar-slinging, jetset, crime-fighting heartbreaker and troubador, offers us his fifth solo album in seven years with "Tape Deck Heart". Once again, a man and his guitar, and his muse, give us a slab of great songs.

Songs that I would not have imagined. Songs that I cannot live without. Songs like "Tell Tale Signs". Turner is growing old, and so are we, and songs like this are the ones that show us that inside everyone is a story, and some of the stories are ones we all share. How it feels to be there, how we have all been there - the names of the actors may have changed, but we are all here, and the song remains the same. I need someone who sings from his heart and means it. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

And here we are. Melodies that anyone can remember. Music made with integrity, ideals, about real things, about the world we live in, about getting drunk, waking up with regrets, about a million things and everything. And every song has some words so utterly astute in seeing the world that they will inevitably be tattooed on someone's body somewhere. And rightly so.

Anyone who can write a song about the closing of the London Astoria and make it sound like a hymn fighting against the inexorable progress of capitalism wins in my book. "Polaroid Picture" is such a song, and it captures for me, the same sense of futile regret that came when they closed the best venue in London. "Tape Deck Heart" is just like other Frank Turner albums ; a selection of rousing, smart songs with huge choruses and a heart the size of a country designed to make lives better, because sometimes, we have no choice but to write songs and be the change we want to see in the world. "Nobody makes it out alive", he sings. Never a truer word sung.
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