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Poetry Of The Deed - Frank Turner
Member Name: obscuredbykep
Poetry Of The Deed - Frank Turner
Advantages: An excellent third album..
Disadvantages: One track no so keen on..
My months of waiting are finally over.
I have sat, with eager ears, awaiting the third studio release from the one and only Frank Turner, pretty much ever since he performed a new song in January, when I saw him live in Cambridge. I hadn't heard much from him over the year, until July time, when I was working in Chesterton. Stood, digging up a patio - I heard the radio song change, and a familiar voice came across me. I dropped the pick axe, and stood in awe. A new song - a great one at that. I then went online and saw the release date of the album was scheduled.
Since his last album, Frank has been a busy chap, and this summer was the opening act for the Offspring. Bringing the awesomeness that is the real Frank Turner, to the USA. One gig, would have been amazing to attend - Frank Turner, Dropkick Murphy's and The Offspring - how can you beat that?
== Let's Inherit the Earth...==
I was as eager as hell to get this album. It was the most anticipated record of the year for me (closely followed by Brand New's "Daisy"). So, it was off to HMV at the earliest possible time, to grab a copy - at the perfect price of £9.99 (£8.99 online). It comes in the cardboard sleeve thingy, and the cover is a great picture of a guitar and birds - more artistic than his previous offerings. The back of the case features another sketch, this time, with the lyrics from the title track "We are what we believe". This particular image, is incredible, and as soon as I saw it, I decided it is going to (hopefully) be my first tattoo.
Opening up, there is the shiny CD, with the same artwork as the front, and the track listing. In a little sleeve piece, you then have two things. Firstly, is the standard lyric booklet, so you can learn all the words for when you go and see him on his October Tour! There is also a little poster, one side with the album artwork, the other a shot of him singing to a small crowd. It is just what I would put on my wall, did I not want to preserve its awesomeness.
Only one thing was left - playing it!
== Poetry of the Deed ==
'''Live Fast Die Old'''
I first heard this back in January. It has been improved for the record. It starts off with a symbol drum beat, and a little piano melody before the guitars come in. Straight off, you can hear that this is heavier album that Frank's previous offerings, and his acoustic guitar is a mere addition - not the lead it was in previous songs. His voice continues to carry the same edge of enthusiasm for what he is singing - perfect! The music is great, a strong drum beat sits behind the whole track, and the bass line has a deep and clear rhythm, which is also really catchy. If you want to start off on a high - well here you have how to do it.
The lyrics are really good too, speaking of how he doesn't want to give up. It is pretty much the theme of the album - his friend apparently said to him something about how they shouldn't have to grow up, and "why can't we be cool until we're old men" and it really stuck with him.
_It won't last so be bold_
_Live Fast and Die Old_
_Choose your path_
_Live Fast and Die Old_
'''Try this at Home'''
It comes in with a 1,2,3,4 and a high pitched wail from the guitar, it sounds great. The song immediately hits pace, Frank singing perfectly to the catchy tune behind. Bu the time it hits the chorus, you are completely hooked. I first head this on his Myspace just after I got back from Newquay. I fell in love with it instantly - there is such a great sound to it which just makes it incredible. It is really short too, not managing to reach 2 minutes - which is disappointing, since it is such a dazzling tune. Only two tracks in, and already it is beyond clear that Frank is still hitting it hard, and hasn't lost a morsel of his talent.
Moving back to the acoustic numbers now. It is a traditional Frank and his guitar piece, sweet chords played perfectly and Frank's voice really carrying the song. It is a simple number, and in full honesty, it is, in my opinion, the weakest track on the album. There is a section which is played on the harmonica, and for some reason, it really doesn't sit well with me, though the following verses are great. Considering this is what I think is the weakest number, and it is still pretty decent - just shows how awesome the guy is..
'''Poetry of The Deed'''
The title track, it opens into an awesome full band sound. The tune is immediately a hit with me, and what it slides into carries a deep anticipation, it is leading you closer to the chorus. Frank's voice is on top form, and by the time the chorus rolls in, you are beyond hooked. It is an instant favourite. With various poetic references, and generally flawless lyrics, it is another case where Frank is proving why he is rising in popularity so well. It is a masterpiece of a song, and musically has many great layers. It is one song I cannot wait to see performed live.
_So enough with words and technical theses, _
_let's grab life by the throat and live it to pieces. _
_ We can choose, we can change, _
_and if we don't, we're just afraid _
_of living life like we're loved and in love and alive_
_ to all the things we could be if we just believed _
_that life is too short to be lived without poetry._
Opening with the rising sounds of a piano, or distant guitars. It soon jumps to a strong drum lead piece, with a strange overdriven guitar sitting quietly in the background. It is a different sound to Frank, a ballad in a form not like much of his previous work - but definitely still packing the punch he delivers. It has a great flow to it, and it is another track that I listen to over and over again. Frank's voice has a sombre emotion lying behind it which is possibly what allures me to this song so firmly. Whatever it is, it's a solid track which continues my theory of Frank being awesome.
'''The Fastest Way Back Home'''
You first think we have another acoustic piece, until the piano pieces stumble in, paving the way for the rest of the band, and especially a nice little guitar riff, which fades nobly out for the verses. Yet again, it is another track which sounds like Frank has moved in a slightly different direction, and it certainly isn't backwards! The chorus here is has a great tune to it, and it has been getting stuck in my head all day. I suppose it is essentially a love song, but with the added twist of the problem made from Frank being so far away all the time.
_Weather wears the mountains_
_Right down into the sea_
_So I will stand in the rain_
_Until I am clean_
_Rivers carve the country_
_A Landscape shaped by a stream_
_So I will swim in the river as long as you need_
'''Sons of Liberty'''
Another song opening dominantly with Frank's trusty acoustic guitar. A deep bass line and drum beat join him, this being a much more traditional Frank piece. His voice sits proudly above the music, and the song has a steady progression to a bit of full band glory, with a piano and some electric guitar - there is even a great little piece with a fiddle which adds a real swagger feel to the track - much like some of the Flogging Molly I like. It is another strong track which is sure to become well listened to over the next few weeks.
The instantly infectious track which is the first single from the album! It opens with Frank straight away, accompanied by his guitar, singing the first chorus of the song, before it opens up into the full band, with an awesome bass line that sounds like it is lifted from a Johnny Cash song - it has that strong carryingness to it. The little jangles of electric guitar over the sound of Franks acoustic sound incredible. The chorus at it comes around again- even more catchy than the first time round. There is a great change of sound in the middle of the song, a little instrumental piece before the real fire inside of Frank comes out. It was the song that was stuck in my head all through my trip to Newquay and I was craving hearing it again when the album was out. If you need just one reason to buy this whole album - then it is this one track.
_So saddle up your horses now and keep your powder dry_
_Because the truth is you won't be here long_
_Yeah soon your going to die_
_To the heart, to the heart there's no time for you to waste_
_You wont find your precious answers now by staying in one place_
_Yeah by giving up the chase_
Now, flick over to YouTube and listen to it as you read on...
Another soft opener, with Frank and a softly played riff, it keeps quiet, but Frank's voice contains that gentle sombreness that I love. He is soon joined with a little bass and drum, not too much which would overthrow the song - the perfect amount. The band practiced and tuned the tracks on this album outstandingly, creating a divine balance. It is a very simple song in presentation, which makes it hard to write about, but I really love this song it is beautifully melodic and another of my immediate favourites, and yet another reason to get this album.
It opens with an annoying little sound, which thankfully dissipates into the guitar. It sounds like a slightly different style yet again, the music sounds really rigid behind it - but slides off into little acoustic sections which sound awesome. My friend, and fellow Frank Turner fanatic, dislikes this song due to it being a bit too "indie" for his tastes. I can see what he means, but still really enjoy the song (well, I do like indie, so maybe that is why.) It isn't a song that outshines others, but it certainly stands shoulder to shoulder on the frontiers with the other songs.
Yet again, we open with Frank and his guitar, in a rather common and unappealing way. But it soon grows on you, and from being a track I skipped to start with, it is now something I certainly enjoy listening to. There is a beauty to it, in it's subtleness and its simplicity. It is a stand out track for sure. The choruses get better each time round, and with the addition of the piano, they sound almost epic. It is a real late night song, the sort of thing I can imagine listening to in the fiery depths of a morning, as the clock is rolling around to 4 o'clock, and you still haven't slept, just say up with friends drinking all night long...
'''Our Lady of the Campfires'''
A piano opening, with a gradual increase, as the drum beat comes in - just a soft clatter on the cymbal - until Frank opens us up with the first line and the music really begins. It has a nice string arrangement in it, which works really well in carrying the song. For the most of the song though, I am not hugely strung, it is OK sure, but it doesn't have the usual Frank flare of amazingness. However hit the midway marker, a little breakdown piece, and it gets that flare, from then on, I love the song! You can hear passion in his voice, the music holds it all together perfectly, and all in all it has the ingredients for a great track. Does the second half make up for the first? Certainly.
'''Journey of the Magi'''
How do you finish off a great album? A question I am sure many artists stumble on. Frank doesn't. He opts for a simple piece, just him and his guitar for the most part. Opening with such a gentle guitar, that it is at first hard to hear under his voice, but such a strong opening. It has this simplicity which is so strong it doesn't need anything to go with it. Come half way, a scratch from the drums enters, and some harmonising vocals, as the next verse rolls around, a string arrangement comes in - and you had thought the song could get no better! It is building this amazing feel to it, and the lyrics sit so firmly above it all, Frank's voice delivering them so perfectly. He closes the song with the perfect sentiments to sum up the whole album:
_Paupers and Kings, Princes and Thieves,_
_Singers of songs, righters of wrongs_
_Be what you believe_
_So saddle your horse, and shoulder your load_
_Burst at the seams_
_Be What you dream_
_And take to the road_
== Let's do this once and Let's do it Right ==
_Frank sang it, and he meant it._
Admittedly the album took me a couple of listens to really get into, and through that, my whole feelings of the songs changed, and early favourites have grown. Frank set out to create an album which essentially says that you should keep living and in his own words "keep being cool, keep having fun, and keep being reckless". I think he has certainly achieved that.
There is an incredible collection of tracks here, from real upbeat numbers, such as "The Road" and "Live Fast, Die Old", which show the full band off to the extreme, they pack such a punch and will be awesome tracks to see live. Then, he adds a few slower pieces, "Sunday Nights" and "Faithful Son" being two more outstanding songs, then take another load of soft and heavier tracks.
I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with it. I knew that Frank would never let me down - and he didn't. He has produced yet another great album, and has left me yearning for more, looking forward to whenever he next gets an album out! Already, this album has been on repeat for the last 3 days, and I don't see it coming off for a good while yet!
If you have read my previous three Frank Turner reviews then you will know how much I love the music this guy makes, from his early days, of real folk rock, just him and his guitar, leading up to this, where he has merged more with his touring band. He hasn't lost one spark of the genius he injects into every word he writes, and every chord he plays. If this is the first time you have heard of him, you have really been missing out. If you have read my previous reviews, and thought about listening to him, but never got around to it - do it now.
Frank is an incredible singer, songwriter, performer whatever you want to call him, the passion he injects, the wit the, well everything about him, is great, and he has manifested this into an album. In short - I cannot wait to see him in Manchester in October!!!
Summary: An excellent third album..