Frank Turner - Love, Ire and Song (Cover Artwork)

Frank Turner

Frank Turner: Love, Ire and SongLove, Ire and Song (2008)
Xtra Mile Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Singer-songwriters are a funny bunch. A lot of the time, you get the feeling that if they had made a few more friends at school, they'd probably be in a proper band. But then Frank Turner is quite the opposite, previously being the frontman of successful British underground band Million Dead and aft.
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Singer-songwriters are a funny bunch. A lot of the time, you get the feeling that if they had made a few more friends at school, they'd probably be in a proper band. But then Frank Turner is quite the opposite, previously being the frontman of successful British underground band Million Dead and after a messy break-up, launched himself up as a solo folk artist. Love, Ire and Song is his second full-length in his solo and cutting to the point - it is brilliant. But that isn't surprising, his first album Sleep Is for the Weak was one of the best singer-songwriter releases I have ever had the joy to listen to. And this builds on it and takes it up to another level.

Let's begin at the beginning, we're lovers and we're losers /
We're heroes and we're pioneers, we're beggars and we're choosers /
Skirting round the edges of the ideal demographic /
We're almost on the guest list, but we're always stuck in traffic
These are the opening lines of Love, Ire and Song and the album runs brilliantly, through to "Reasons Not to be an Idiot," "'Photosynthesis" and "Substitute" and keeps going. Coming from London, the album and Turner sounds very British, but the rawness yet catchy-as-fuck nature of this record is really what makes it stand out. Furthermore, Turner's lyrics are superb and at times inspiring. I am tempted to quote a whole string of superb lyrics, but it wouldn't do them justice. ( don't just take my word for it, have a quick listen on his MySpace) The lyrics are honest and open and usually revolve around the themes of girls, growing-up, punk protest and politics and friends. The title track is a fantastic punk anthem delivered in classic folk style, a call to arms to everyone who believes that something in the world needs to change and to never abandon your beliefs. It's a song that is inspirational in how it sounds and what it says and like most of this album, easy to relate to.

"Long Live the Queen" takes the opposite approach; an intensely personal song about the death of a friend. But you won't catch a second of negativity in it's hauntingly brilliant three minutes and 27 seconds. It's a celebration of life and memory and a greatly uplifting song, set at an almost completely contradictory high tempo. Indeed, much of this album is uplifting despite its often quite negative focus in the lyrics; In fact, Turner spins and ties together contradictory emotions and sounds throughout this album, to brilliant effect.

The album also has plenty of variety; something usually heavily lacking in similar solo releases. Whilst some tracks take the purist approach of man and acoustic guitar, "Impefect Tense" sees the use of a full band and two electric guitars and later tracks use a whole host of different percussion, keys and piano, and some brilliant backing vocals. It's not a repeating formula, its always different and always incredibly easy to listen to.

The downside is that the experimentation doesn't always work. The last two tracks die badly, the energy drains and the final piano-led track "Jet Lag" is poor compared to the rest. But on the whole, this album is one which can be listened to over and over again, with a number of instant classics and a number of tracks which take longer to get into, such as the beautiful "To Take You Home." I cannot recommend this enough, if you have ever enjoyed the work of a singer-songwriter, pick this up and Frank Turner will become one of your favourite artists of the year.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenFrank Turner - Poetry of the DeedThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Clash - London CallingDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Flatliners - Cavalcade

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jman83 (August 27, 2010)

Heard this on here and I went Home and bought all three albums on Amazon "AND" did overnight delivery, TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

Dedricthere (June 24, 2010)

Tremendous album.

johnnyawesome (March 3, 2010)

as a songwriter, Frank can't be matched. I can't stop listening to this album!

chrisafi (October 18, 2009)

I wrote this review about a year ago now.

This album is a 10 and not a 9.

It's just a phenomenal record and so few things come near to being as consistently excellent throughout, it deserves top marks.

And secondly because in that year, I've fallen in love with the track Jet Lag, meaning I have no reason to deduct half a star.

I'd give his new album only 7 though.

damnitsderek (August 23, 2009)

Holy shit, this is just so fucking good.

KungPowza (August 14, 2009)

I got to see Frank open for the Offspring a few months ago, and although I'd never heard of him before that point, his music blew me away. This album fucking rocks, and it's been at least a decade since I've been this excited about new music.

T-Rock (August 13, 2009)

Also, I'd like to add that the idea of streaming albums on PunkNews has introduced me to so many amazing albums/bands. "Sink or Swim" comes to mind immediately, but there's also The Riot Before, Passenger Action, and so many more. I really hope more bands do this.

T-Rock (August 13, 2009)

I never expected to say this, but this is the record of the year so far. Amazing music. Lyrically, this is like my "59 Sound" for 2009. Just really speaks to me on every level. I'm really digging "Imperfect Tense" right now.

sundowning10 (August 7, 2009)

Photosynthesis is easily one of the best songs I've ever heard. This album as a whole is just fucking amazing.

wishihadasocketset (July 20, 2009)

such an amazing record. true story: i immediately bought this from itunes before the first song i had ever heard from frank was even finished playing. great review, it's weird that the reviewer would single out "To Take You Home" as a grower, it's tied with the title track for my favorite song on the album. the reviewer is dead on about the lyrics though, on par with John K. Samson or Erik Petersen

hello-rockview (July 12, 2009)

im getting MUSIC IS MY SUBSTITUTE FOR LOVE tattooed on my back

ashtraymonument (December 23, 2008)

fucking awesome

dirtydacoitdan (December 9, 2008)

This is a great LP. Photosynthesis is one killer song!

Waffro (September 4, 2008)

Another huge album!

Disagree about the last 2 tracks though. Absolutely love Jet Lag!

Deadpan (August 9, 2008)

Man, everything this guy does is gold. His live shows are always superb. I'm definitely considering getting lines from "I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous" tattooed on me. What a fucking song.

jumpkid_638 (August 7, 2008)

Please, please, please tell me that Frank Turner/Fake Problems tour is coming to the Southeast.

that_band_changed_my_life (August 6, 2008)

Frank Turner will be touring with Fake Problems & Cobra Skulls from early September onward!

Also, Good Friends Records has his last out on 10" and this is sure to come soon.

booker_pee (August 6, 2008)

dude writes too many songs about cell phones. hopefully he corrected that for this album.

Tye (August 6, 2008)

He tours CONSTANTLY in the UK. Before he played his latest gig near me he'd already confirmed dates for the next time he'd be here.

Pick up the EPs as well. Loads of his radio sessions can be found at hippieburner.com including an acoustic cover of Nervous Breakdown with Matt from the Bronx.

insinceredave (August 6, 2008)

Great record. Not as politically preachy as his first, which was nice. Good stuff

OurBodiesOurAnchors (August 6, 2008)

this boy is going to be HUGE

SaladFingers (August 5, 2008)

good review. good record. and good to see folks over the pond taking notice...

here;s Franks version's of Pay to Cum -

and Fix Me

m4a i'm afraid, but pretty damn good

chrisafi (August 5, 2008)

Get it Get it Get it!

escalators (August 5, 2008)

i fucking love frank turner. this album is awesome, glad to see it reviewed.

bryne (August 5, 2008)

I really want to hear this but I can't seem to find it anywhere. I love pretty much everything I've heard by Frank.

thirtyseconds (August 5, 2008)

Album of the year so far in my opinion. At first I was a bit taken aback by the differing styles, but this is as good as Sleep Is For The Week, if not better. And I disagree about the last two tracks. Severely.

spoon_of_grimbo (August 5, 2008)

absolutely fucking brilliant stuff, same goes for sleep is for the week, and the campfire punkrock and real damage EPs (definitely worth hunting for too).

as much as i love his solo stuff though, i'd kill for a million dead reunion. i saw one of their last gigs (lockup tent at leeds festival 2005) and IT. WAS. AWESOME.

stuckinbielers (August 5, 2008)

I saw him live a few months ago and the atmosphere was incredible thanks to the all round sing-along-ability of his songs. He also has a healthy cynicism towards some aspects of leftist politics too.

slymer (August 5, 2008)

I think this is his best album. I can't stop listening to it, yet I can't find anyplace to buy it for a decent price. Is it going to get a US release?

nocigar (August 5, 2008)

I want to check this out..this guy is awesome. His last album was great.

R3vengeTherapy (August 5, 2008)

This record has grown on me a lot. I initially really enjoyed it, but it wasn't really standing out. But now that I've had it for months, I find myself wanting to listen to it more and more. His lyrics are great.

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