It's rare these days for anyone to create an album on a theme, but this one - written by master lyricist Frank Turner about his love for England - is beautifully crafted, and makes me more patriotic than I have felt for a long time.
If you're new to Frank Turner, prepare yourself for a wonderful selection of poetic and profound lyrics, which will uplift you, make you shiver and occasionally make you well up. Well, that's what you'll do if you're anything like me or the hundreds of thousands who have been converted to followers by his constant touring and the constant and improving quality of his songwriting.
If you're not new to Frank, but don't buy this album: on release, it felt to me like perhaps his best work, even if the far more raw Love Ire & Song [Explicit] perhaps means more to me personally. The songwriting is taken to a new level, and in making the songs - deliberately or not - centre around his love for England, this feels like a true album: something that should be consumed as a whole.
There are numerous highlights, starting with the singles: the stomping Peggy Sang The Blues, the catchy, live favourite If Ever I Stray, the beautiful Wessex Boy - an ode to having a truly British home town - and the spectacular anthem I Still Believe, made extra famous by its broadcast as part of the Olympic open ceremony. But of course the true quality of an album like this is in the album tracks, and this one is singularly spectacular: from the mini opening track, Eulogy to the awesome closer, Glory Hallelujah, via the soaring I Am Disappeared and stomping One Foot Before The Other, this is superb.
It's no exaggeration to say Frank Turner has had a profound effect on my life, and this is a superb place to start, continue or complete your Frank collection.
(Oh, and as a post-script, if you can get the deluxe edition, the extra tracks that come with that are well worth a few extra quid: the lovely Song For Eva Mae, written about his goddaughter, the heart-wrendingly sad Wanderlust, the soaring and brilliant Balthazar, Impresario - containing some of my favourite Frank lyrics so far - and sometimes the starkly simple Sailor's Boots.)