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Frank Turner - Love Ire And Song

Its been just over a year, but Frank Turner has found time amidst touring every nook and cranny of Britain, America and Europe to record a second album. Most artists would be lucky to produce an album of a few disjointed gems amongst throwaway filler. Instead, Love Ire & Song is better than his début in almost every way. When we remind you Sleep Is For The Week was in Rocklouders top 10 albums of 2007, youll understand why were so excited.

Hes made no large departure in sound, but has grown and developed it; his songwriting has markedly improved, and whereas two years ago he was excited at the prospect of putting a bit of banjo into a song, now theres strings, piano, organ and more. Not once are these instruments used unless necessary – the moment you think a song needs some strings, there they are. More diverse than his début, tracks range from gorgeous piano ballad Jet Lag to noisy rocker Imperfect Tense, with plenty of time for the odd Celtic jig (Photosynthesis) or a little politicizing (Love Ire & Song).

His influences occasionally shine through, with shades of Counting Crows on Better Half and the aforementioned Jet Lag, and his love of The Lemonheads is clear on Reasons Not To Be An Idiot. But what makes Turner a cut above the singer/songwriters that have amassed over recent years is his ability to craft intensely personal songs without getting indulgent and self-absorbed – a habitual offence of most solo artists these days, and near impossible to avoid when getting as personal as Turner does on Substitute or the sublime Better Half. These songs could easily have become a lull, moping ballads of longing, but though during the I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous he accuses himself of not being optimistic, he avoids the woe-is-me-isms of most solo artists. This is no more apparent than during The Queen Is Dead, telling the tale of losing a close friend, it is imbued with the fighting spirit of the woman the album is dedicated to; its lively defiance making it far more moving than any lamenting ballad could ever be, and is arguably Turners finest moment to date.

Few can work as hard as Frank Turner does, but even fewer could tour as much and come up with an album this intelligent, moving or easy to listen to. Honest, modest and often hilarious, Turner has created an album of huge appeal without compromising his sound, and despite the massive improvement from début to follow-up, it leaves you without a doubt that theres still better to come.Phillip May

Released 1 Jan 1970 // // Rating:

*****

/5
Frank Turner - Love Ire And Song

Its been just over a year, but Frank Turner has found time amidst touring every nook and cranny of Britain, America and Europe to record a second album. Most artists would be lucky to produce an album of a few disjointed gems amongst throwaway filler. Instead, Love Ire & Song is better than his début in almost every way. When we remind you Sleep Is For The Week was in Rocklouders top 10 albums of 2007, youll understand why were so excited.

Hes made no large departure in sound, but has grown and developed it; his songwriting has markedly improved, and whereas two years ago he was excited at the prospect of putting a bit of banjo into a song, now theres strings, piano, organ and more. Not once are these instruments used unless necessary – the moment you think a song needs some strings, there they are. More diverse than his début, tracks range from gorgeous piano ballad Jet Lag to noisy rocker Imperfect Tense, with plenty of time for the odd Celtic jig (Photosynthesis) or a little politicizing (Love Ire & Song).

His influences occasionally shine through, with shades of Counting Crows on Better Half and the aforementioned Jet Lag, and his love of The Lemonheads is clear on Reasons Not To Be An Idiot. But what makes Turner a cut above the singer/songwriters that have amassed over recent years is his ability to craft intensely personal songs without getting indulgent and self-absorbed – a habitual offence of most solo artists these days, and near impossible to avoid when getting as personal as Turner does on Substitute or the sublime Better Half. These songs could easily have become a lull, moping ballads of longing, but though during the I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous he accuses himself of not being optimistic, he avoids the woe-is-me-isms of most solo artists. This is no more apparent than during The Queen Is Dead, telling the tale of losing a close friend, it is imbued with the fighting spirit of the woman the album is dedicated to; its lively defiance making it far more moving than any lamenting ballad could ever be, and is arguably Turners finest moment to date.

Few can work as hard as Frank Turner does, but even fewer could tour as much and come up with an album this intelligent, moving or easy to listen to. Honest, modest and often hilarious, Turner has created an album of huge appeal without compromising his sound, and despite the massive improvement from début to follow-up, it leaves you without a doubt that theres still better to come.Phillip May