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Frank Turner Poetry Of The Deed Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Balancing plaintive melodies, heartfelt lyrics and rousing fist-in-the-air punk rock.

Stephanie Burkett 2009

He’s been plugging away and searching for the road to the big time for years, but with this third solo album Frank Turner looks finally set to crack it.

Striking a balance between plaintive melodies, tenderly heartfelt lyrics and rousing fist-in-the-air punk rock fury, the former hardcore singer has produced a record that fans of both James Morrison and Black Flag will clutch to their hearts.

Single The Road and Live Fast Die Old are typically fiery manifestos of Turner’s adopted lifestyle; having spent most of his time alive in bands achieving varying degrees of success he’s well-placed to document what it’s like to strike out at your dreams. And, as with Sunday Nights, he knows how to render the cute little details of everyday life with enough honesty to make them not only universal but to be loved and cherished.

Dan’s Song is an ode to the familiar pleasures of spending a sunny day in the park with a few mates, Try This At Home a call for the annihilation of apathy and for others to pick up a guitar and follow in his raspy-throated path. Both are charming in their simplicity, and Turner’s most potent weapon is his ability to turn the familiar into the breathtakingly magical just by singing his heart out, as on Faithful Son.

Sons Of Liberty evokes spiritual forefather Billy Bragg in its folk-tinged melodies and politically impassioned lyrics but seems slightly try-hard, and Isabel, perhaps the weakest song on Poetry of the Deed, only plods where it should soar. With a gorgeous lyric both expansive and intimate, it’s a wasted mid-paced ballad that feels half-finished.

Poetry of the Deed is a superb record that should shine a light on Turner not only as a brave new and, most importantly, thoroughly unmanufactured talent in the murky waters of the British singer-songwriter, but as a guy with a guitar slung over his back who can command venues from living rooms to huge concert halls.

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