on 25 April 2010
I was first introduced to Frank Turner by Love, Ire & Song's, title track, the album's dramatic centerpiece. Putting on an mp3 of the song I acquired from a friend a few months after the album's release in March 2008, I was surprised by how moved I found myself. Turner's rage against apathy, as exemplified in the heartfelt chorus of "Let's be young, let's be crass enough to care," was unlike anything I'd heard before. I searched on YouTube for more of his material, and discovered Reasons Not to Be An Idiot - an uplifting song which urges the listener to enjoy life rather than wallow in his own self-pity. As soon as I heard Frank sing the lines: "She's not as pretty as she thinks she is - just picture her after she's had kids! I bet she sits at home and listens to The Smiths..." I was sold.
I got the album soon after, which became the soundtrack of my summer - my fondest memory being listening to it on the walks I'd started taking. The quality of songwriting, as sampled by my first exposure, turned out to be constant throughout. Turner's songs often take a narrative form, and as such everything he writes tends to have a point, be it the lamentation of the past in Jet Lag, the refusal to resign oneself to a monotonous adulthood in Photosynthesis or the celebration of friendship in St. Christopher Is Coming Home. In a generation with such lyrical insights as "Oh oh oh, this sex is on fire," it was refreshing to discover an artist who actually has something to say.
If one word can best describe Turner, it's 'genuine'. Few other artists are so detached from any superficial musical scene or trend. Consequently it's hard to define his music - it's too epic to be folk, but too acoustic-based to be rock. Perhaps it's best just to describe it as heartfelt music produced by an ordinary, but nevertheless interesting and intelligent man. It's on account of his integrity that he's able to pull off a beautiful song such as Long Live the Queen, written about the death of a close friend, without appearing crass. Likewise, the incredible opener I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous could not have been written by any other artist. Beginning as a quiet pondering on everyday existence, the song eventually explodes and culminates with the potent statement, "The only thing that's left to do is live." Turner possesses the skill to take the simple aspects of contemporary life and turn them into a celebration.
Throughout the album, Frank covers pretty much the entire emotional spectrum - amusement, joy, anger, sadness, love and inspiration. The running theme throughout is that every song will make you feel something. It is for this reason that Frank Turner, and his fantastic second album, should be treated preciously.
on 6 April 2009
I stumbled upon this after downloading 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' off i-Tunes as a free single of the week. The songwriting is spellbinding, every time I listen to the 'Love, Ire and Song' album in full I am drawn in completely to it's stories of love, loss, regret, death, life and growing up. He sings with conviction and energy and most importantly the songs are great.
'The First Three Years' album was a brilliant surprise as I don't normally bother with extra tracks or rarities. The songs are brimming with nostalgia, melody and again are just great songs. The covers of established tracks such as 'Dancing Queen' and 'You Are My Sunshine' are sung faithfully in style to the original versions and help enhance the feeling of nostalgia.
I find it hard to believe that there is nothing here that anybody could enjoy. The songs are truthful, relatable and reassuringly compassionate and easy to listen to. Give it a try, you get a lot for your money both in quantity and quality with the 2CD version I've reviewed.
If you don't have any Frank Turner in your music collection, then this deluxe edition of his second studio album is a great place to start. With 35 tracks, it certainly gives you an extensive introduction to the work of his talented and prolific singer-songwriter.
'Love Ire & Song' was originally released in 2008, but this edition came one year later, with the bonus of having the complete compilation album 'The First Three Years'. If you already own both of these records separately, then you don't really need to buy this, as there are no extra tracks which you can't find on the original albums.
Frank Turner is, in my eyes, one of the truly phenomenal singer/song writing talents in recent times, and I love the most about this man's music the most really, is the sheer rawness and honesty that comes through in the words of his songs.
Despite what the frankly rather home-made looking front cover might suggest to you, 'Love Ire & Song' is more accomplished record in comparison it's critically-acclaimed predecessor, and a combination of folk, rock and punk music, always with passionate vocals, superb production (by Frank and his musician pal Ben Lloyd), and first-class guitar playing. The material is a rich mix of upbeat and slower folk rock tunes with some beautiful melodies.
If I was pushed to pick out a few of my favourite songs, I think I'd have to highlight the instant anthem that is 'Photosynthesis', the tender ballad 'Love Worth Keeping', the catchy 'Long Live the Queen', which released as a single benefit the Breast Cancer Campaign, and the quite brilliant 'Substitute', which could have actually been written specially for me, until he sings the final verse that is. 'Love Ire & Song' demonstrates both sides of love, and it does this very well.
'The First Three Years' is Frank's first compilation of rarities, released in 2008 to celebrate his 'First Three Years' in the recording business, and contains some real gems. This is a delicious mixture of rock, folk and punk, with all the songs recorded October 2005 and September 2008. None of these cuts had appeared on any of Frank's studio albums from the past, but a handful were previously available on EPs, and tracks 20-22 were previously unreleased.
You can always hear the sincerity in his easily identifiable voice no matter what type of tune he sings, and I particularly love the opening 'The Real Damage', a song that I can really relate to, 'This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the One of Me', and the left-wing political 'Thatcher F***ed the Kids' had me agreeing on it's every word. There are several interesting covers to be heard, and perhaps the most unexpected is his hilarious acknowledgement to Abba with 'Dancing Queen'. Also here are 'You Are My Sunshine' by Jimmie Davis, and 'The Outdoor Type', which is my one of my favourites by The Lemonheads, and Frank does it well.
Here we have a lot of great music from a hard-working musician at a affordable price. Discover Frank Tuner today!
on 19 January 2014
Amazing album, any Frank fans will love this. Some songs familiar from gigs, others new to me, but as always with Frank a top quality album! And the added bonus of the first 3 years album makes it even better!
on 13 November 2012
A cracking collection of beautiful, thought provoking, heart breaking, rock n roll folk poetry protest tunes. Frank ticks most of the boxes that exist. This is as fine a compilation as any I own, long live the new king!
on 9 November 2009
Frank Turner put down some magical words, where i can recognize myself (I am 3 month older than Frank, he was bron December 1981). So we are both twenty-something.
This is some acoustic punkrock.
Photosynthesis, The Real Damage and Casanova Lament are lyrical masterpieces.
It was worth each penny and for me the discovery of the year.
True and honest, is what comes to my mind, just by listening to his lyrics.
Check out his other albums, Poetry of the Deed and Sleep is for the week.
I also bought his DVD "It's all about the Destination" Which is filmed very poorly. You will see him through his travels of one year, touring little venues and giving his thoughts on society. It's tough to listen too.
I wouldn't buy it again. The vids are pretty cool though. So i would be very tempted to still buy it, as he just fascinates me.