Top positive review
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A joy of acoustic, poetic music
on 9 November 2007
Frank Turner is brilliant, and his album is thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable. If you read his Myspace page, it explains that after Million Dead, he decided to look at the other end of his musical influences - folk and country - and to try to show people that it's possible to be a singer-songwriter without sounding like James Blunt. I must say he does it with great success.
Sleep Is For The Week is an album about being a man in his 20s, trying to make a living as a musician in London, written with a real sense of poetry and a good deal of wit. And whilst Turner's voice doesn't have any extraordinary qualities - by that I mean it doesn't necessarily have any instantly recognisable qualities - his range is very impressive (as I discovered when I tried to sing one or two of the songs), and his lilting melodies are infectious.
The highlights for me are the opening and closing tracks. The Real Damage is an ode to partying in London - the classic instance of emerging from a house and searching for bus stops or landmarks - and bounces along with a twist at the end. The Ballad of Me and My Friends is an apparently live recording about the problems and benefits of the London music scene. And both have more than their fair share of feeling and of wit.
Turner is an observational lyricist, and one who sings with such heartfelt sincerity that it'll send shivers down your spine. The album, with only a couple of instances involving anything like a full band, leaves his songs exposed. They in turn, seem to expose a lot of Turner's inner thoughts. Those things together make for a remarkable album, and one I can't recommend highly enough.