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.
I remember find out about Frank Turner really late on. Leeds festival one year I stumbled across him. I have loved him ever since. This album did not let me down. Some really great songs, the sort Frank is known for. Upbeat sing along songs with the odd ballad in their as well. He has kept his folk sound with the punk rock edge. For me it's not as good as some of his other albums, but that is because I love his raw music, this album seems to produced and perfect. All in all a fantastic album though.
I was late finding out about Frank Turner. My musical tastes were very different. I first saw Frank Turner on the Morgan spurlock show singing I still believe. The next day I went out and bought England Keep My Bones. This album is as good as that and contains the most catchy song I have ever heard. Four Simple Words. But the whole album is outstanding, energetic and cheers you up. The guy is a genius.
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.
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.
I first heard the voice of singer-songwriter Frank Turner via 'Recovery' on a compilation album of contemporary indie tracks. I liked the song so much that I decided to take a listen to the mother studio album: 2013's 'Tape Deck Heart', a folky punk-rock affair, and was very impressed.
A lot of the tracks here deal with the theme of relationship breakups, but there are more than enough uplifting tunes on here that are almost guaranteed to get you into the mood of Summer, despite the heartbreak in the singer's writing and delivery. The sheer quality of Frank's song writing, the excellent production which captures a genuine 'live' feel to the drums and backing, not to mention all of the raw emotion that he pours into these great tracks is so impressive. It's hard for me to single out a 'favourite' song on here, but 'The Way I Tend To Be', 'Polaroid Picture', 'Plain Sailing Weather', and the sentimental 'Oh Brother' in particular, are currently experiencing some heavy rotation in my ITunes playlist.
I recommend 'Tape Deck Heart' to anyone who appreciates the work of a real musician, and it encouraged me to invest in a lot more of Frank Tuner's music. An unreserved five star release!
Downloading this album corresponded with the sun coming out for the first time in ages and both helped to cheer me up. I first came across Frank supporting Greenday in London despite him coming from up the road in Winchester and he did a great set in a wide open Wembley Stadium, engaging the crowd and mixing up slower sing-alongs with more up-tempo numbers. This album reflects that with thoughtful lyrics, catchy melodies and rousing choruses. The thing I like about Frank is there is always a sense of optimism and humour running through his albums so his darker songs are balanced but also have more impact. Note there is both a 12 track and 18 track version of the album so check you are ordering the correct one. I am missing the last 6 and will have to download them individually when I've finished playing through the ones I have.