Monday 4 June 2018

Frank Turner - Be More Kind

The 7th Frank Turner album represents another shift, another development of the band and singer from out-and-out shouty folk-punk to a more considered and more simply pleasing sound.  One you don't have to try too hard with to separate music and lyrics.
In simple terms - it continues a path from 6Music to Radio 2 (note: this is not a criticism)

'Be More Kind' offers 13 well crafted songs, sometimes not quite hitting "it", but no real duffers.
Opener "Don't Worry" is a downbeat, yet rousing (or uplifting) song.  From simple beginnings, the strings rise and there's almost a gospel feeling to the playout.
"1933" is Frank's old school shouty air-punching.
Both of these songs include the lines: "I don't know what I'm doing, no on has a clue" and "I don't know what's going on anymore".
And with that, a bit of a theme is developing - he is still advocating togetherness and looking out for your fellow man, but their is an air of fear with the world, almost darkness  coursing through the album, especially on the tracks "Let's Make America Great Again" and "21st Century Survival Blues".
"Be More Kind" has a passing whiff of the vocal melody from "Streets Of London" mixed with some later period Genesis-esque guitar.  It's message is obvious from the title, and it would take a churlish, belligerent, despot character to argue against it's intention.
"Little Changes" is the most accessible, earwormy song here, and a contender for "obvious single", if it weren't for the presence of the 80s Drum and Keyboard loaded "Blackout".
Confusion and uncertainty returns on closer "Get It Right" but also offers some salvation, or at least hope, that something good may come of all this.
There's no answers, or instructions, but a belief that WE can get it sorted.

Initially, I was undecided, almost non-plussed about this album.  But after a few spins, it began to seep in, and has been receiving lots of deserved airtime.
It may not be a full-bore 10 out of 10, but is comfortably sitting in the 7s.

Little Changes


1 comment:

  1. I think I'm following a similar curve to you with this record. Initial disappointment based upon a sense that Frank was going soft, leading to a greater appreciation of his ideas with further listens. There aren't the obvious anthemic singles from previous records and occasionally I feel he's reaching too hard to change the world... but I also kind of admire him for that, that he hasn't yet given up hope like all the rest of us.