Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
Frank Turner is spectacularly good.
on 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.
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.