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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
37
To Be Frank
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 5 March 2002
This is a truly excellent album, filled with bitter/sweet, heart-felt and world-wise offerings. The perfect opener, "Wounded", gets you off to a great start, and the quality of the melodies is constant throughout a musical journey to the final destination, the beautiful "Show them what you're made of". If you're turned on by songwriting of the highest calibre, buy this immediately and forget the 80s-mullet preconceptions. Only vague comparison possible is the excellent "Together Alone" by Crowded House/Neil Finn. Thanks Nik. Thanks Amazon.
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on 7 May 2002
Though ignored by most of the media , on its release last year , this album deserves to gain reconision by word of mouth, of what a fine songwriting talent Nik Kershaw is .
Opening with title track that just says no matter what problems your going through , theres always hope , and sounding like Labama which is no bad thing , its is a perfect way to kick of the album in style.
Next to 'Get up' an anthem track ,which yo acn just imagine Robbie Williams singing at wembley arena , a pure crowding pleasing track.
Die Laughing is a track with such a sense of humour ,poking fun at how we have reasons for not doing some things , the guitars and drums and vocal style really work well to the punchly finally of the track , whih atkes us to a nighout with frank.
Jan Doe is a classic rock and roll style track , alot like the material Nik worked with 'Let loose' in the mid ninetys , which is als a collaboration with Chesney Hawkes , how shares co writing credit on the track.
Move on to how sad , which isa deserved number one , which really shows how much better Nik has got at is craft since the teen star days of the mid eighties.
Take me to the church and Hello world continue his fine music punchie style trend on the album.
So to already in my opinion the best track on the album , which has so many good lines , for example 'it will never be rght to one of them sees , the proverbial woods from the proverbial trees'. The Guitar work is very good , but no big guitar solos like in the mid eighties , just very interesting chord changes.
So to One day , All is fair and to show them what they mad of , which is sort of goodbye for moment track. Now Nik has moved back out of the limelight , to concentrate on producing and writing for artists . There is talk of him releasing new material over the internet so stay tuned on that .
I can't higher reoommend this album enough , so what are you waiting for buy it today , and see what a great underated talent Nik is .
John Tomkins England
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Admitting you like Nik Kershaw is like admitting you played with your sister's Barbies. Well, I'm only owning up to one of those two and a quick glance at the album score will tell you which one. I'll spend one sentence on 80's comparisons and comeback and stuff like that just to say that it is totally irrelevant. To be Frank is modern, relevant and incredibly good.
Quite why this album has sold so badly is beyond me. There are seven outstanding songs on here, one of which I'm sure could have been a top five hit. Already is the most 'commercial' song Nik has written since I won't let the sun go down all those years ago. It has super, rolling percussion, neat guitar effects, a stirring verse and one of those soar away choruses that you only associate with prolific song writers.
This makes up a crescendo of final tracks joining one day (a mid tempo track exploring the adage that the grass in no more greener on the other side) and all is fair as a coup de grace to the album. The three are as alike as chalk and cheese but each one shows off the reason why Nik is one of the best songwriters there is. The tunes, while being inventive and thoughtful, are simple and easily remembered. The arrangement and production is considered and cumulative: no two parts of the song are identical, to every verse and chorus there is something added to reward continued play. The musical performance is tight and well executed. Ask any guitarist and he'll tell you that Nik finds unusual and original chord changes that make his songs that much better.
There are Latin vibes here (the wonderfully buoyant wounded, released ahead of time in late Spring when it should have been a Summer smash), humour in abundance (as Nik berates his alter ego Frank in die laughing) and, in get up, subject matter that is dear to a majority of us who hate the mornings and curse the end of sleep.
In all it's an inventive, guitar lead fair. Lyrically incisive, musically refreshing and essentially brilliant. Yet, good as it sounds, poor sales and a less than emphatic reception have caused this talented songwriter to hang up his microphone again and concentrate on producing other artist's work. I think this is a travesty when you consider the 'songs' that seem to grace the top 40 at the moment. Do yourself and the music community a favour and buy this album. You won't be disappointed.
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on 2 July 2001
Once again we are given the opportunity to sample Nik's ability to write perfectly crafted pop songs. Following on from fifteen minutes, it appears that he hasn't broken stride. The highlights include Wounded which borrows from the current latino fad while bettering anything that Ricky Martin could offer. This is followed by Get Up with it's dark musical vibe contrasting an uplifting chorus. Next is Die Laughing which once again shows Nik's expert lyricism to the full. Jane Doe and How Sad continue the high quality output with the latter having another killer chorus. Take Me To The Church proves that there are still some men able to express their love for someone without resorting to irony and metaphors. Hello World once again shows Nik's ability to write a great hook linking it with a singalong chorus. The production is up to Nik's usual high standard as is the musicianship. Another classy album from a much underated performer.
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on 29 July 2001
Reading the other reviews on To Be Frank, I cannot but agree that after the wonders of 15 Minutes how would Nik Kershaw deliver the good again. Being a fan from the Human Racing days, every album has been of extremely high quality but To Be Frank and 15 Minutes are albums everyone should have in their collections, they are well crafted and well performed songs, from one of the best songwriters this country has produced. To Be Frank offers more of an insight in to Kershaw's life and indeed everyones life as there are lyics which i am sure everyone can relate too. Get Up is a ode to everyone who likes to lie in bed for too long and then wonder what has happened to the day. Die Laughing the next single is about the times when you just can't be bothered and everyone hates you for it. The stand out tracks for me are Get Up, Die Laughing, Hello World and Already. To sum up BUY THIS ALBUM you will not be disapointed.
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on 18 August 2001
Spread the word. This is a stunning album from a wonderfully gifted artist. Cast aside any pre-conceptions you may harbour from his days as a 1980's synthesised pop icon, for this superb collection of songs reveal Nik Kershaw to be unquestionably the best songwriter to emerge from his generation. You may have heard it before, but believe me, there is not a weak track on the album. So pay your money and you'll get eleven astounding melodies, fresh lyrical twists, and arrangements that transform these remarkably crafted songs into a remarkably crafted record. If rock / pop / indie / guitar is your genre, you will not find a better album in 2001.
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on 22 May 2001
I've bought all Nik CD's in the past and I was very anxious to here the new one "to be Frank". The last album "15 minutes" was really great and it's hard to top it. But this album really does it! All 11 songs are terrific in it's own way. After the carribean "Wounded" I find highlights in "Die Laughing" (what a melody!!!), "hello world" (you get in a huge temper when you here it!) and "Already". Everyone outthere should take al look on that stuff! If they do, they will love it! I think Nik Kershaw is the most underestimated songwriter and singer in the UK!
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on 20 October 2001
Nik Kershaw, that serious pop boy who had a string of catchy hits in the 80s, always could write a good tune. Having only bought one of his singles back then, he's not exactly the artist I'd look for on this site or in the record shops. But, having heard the first single Wounded, I thought it would be interesting to give him a listen, so I bought Frank. With so much dross around at the moment it came as a refreshing surprise to hear this album.
The first track, Wounded, has to be the best single of 2001 although the record buying public failed to pick up on that - without doubt due to the lack of airplay. If it ever gets on a TV ad. it would be huge. Tracks such as Jane Doe, Die Laughing and Take me to the Church show Nik can still write great songs and this CD soon becomes the one you can't stop playing. Brilliant stuff. Five stars. Buy it!
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on 22 August 2003
Well you are really only going to think of buying this album if you liked Nik in the first place but think again. He is one of the artists from the eighties who could actually write intelligent lyrics with some talent. A fantastic album showing a maturity not found in most of todays plastic pop bands. Listening to the lyrics on 'Wounded' and 'Die Laughing' shows you this. If you get it make someone else listen to it, I bet you it suprises them!
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on 22 July 2012
Another simply wonderful collection of songs from possibly the most under-rated artist in the history of popular music.

Not a single weak track on the whole album.

Brilliant, just brilliant...
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