New English Song
As someone who doesn’t tend to listen to the words of most songs (touch my body, umbrella-ella-ay-ay etc – hardly Shakespeare) and instead is seduced by the melody and beat of most music, it was quite refreshing to come across Love, Ire & Song, the sophmore album from Frank Turner (aka the former Million Dead frontman).
Continuing a path laid by the likes of Billy Bragg and The Levellers, Frank sings an engaging mix folk, power pop (think Lemonheads) and social commentary (without sounding half as dull or righteous as I have just made that sound).
I love the dry sense of humour that runs through most of the songs (and no-one’s really clear about Tommy’s job description, but it’s pretty clear he’s vital to the whole damn operation – on ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’ or 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 – on ‘Reasons To Be An Idiot’ – a song inspired by a friend’s ex who was “essentially a pillock”) and the personal tales that form the core of the album (‘IKPBHGF’ namechecks friends, ‘To Take You Home’ is about a girl who dumped Frank by the time recording was over, and the beautiful ‘Long Live The Queen’ is about a a friend of Frank’s who died of cancer).
On top of that Frank has a great way with words (and I'm enough of a nerd to find the title 'Imperfect Tense' funny).
An album filled in equal measure with optimimism, frustration and great song writing - or in other words; Love, Ire & Song - certainly one of my favourite releases of the year.