As a modern English rebel, Frank Turner’s socio-political commentaries and ire love songs have written a new definition to what is considered folk music. Turner brought his punk infused folk rock back last week with his fifth studio album, Tape Deck Heart.
The album begins with its first single, Recovery, a stage setting track about a relationship rebounding. Turner is shifting away from his typical political content in lieu of an introverted peek into his heart. He’s looking back on his life as he begins to recognizing he’s Losing Days.
Turner has chosen a more structured, dare I say mainstream approach to his music writing early on in this collection with a more pop-rock feel in The Way I Tend To Be. Although Turner appears to be moving his production away from the raw guitar and DIY feel with the explicit lyrics of Plain Sailing Weather, Turner is still the same vulgar Englishman he’s always been.
Turner has traded in his angst drive for a new forlorn heartbreak
In the song Good and Gone, he showcases his search for true love and with lines such as “So f— you Hollywood for raising us on dreams of happy endings” it would appear Turner is still holding the glass slipper.
Tell Tale Signs give the listener a downbeat acoustic look further into Turner’s apparent struggles as he sings about a woman named “Amy” as the reason for his anguish. But it’s not all pain and agony here as Turner simply wants to dance in the upbeat, key twinkling, Four Simple Words.
If there’s any question that Turner is going a bit softer musically, it is quite apparent in the final tracks of the album
After taking a hopeful Polaroid Picture, he slows down the pace drastically in The Fisher King Blues and he nearly runs the pace into the ground with the acoustic, nearly a cappella track, Anymore.
Turner brings the pace of the album back up with the well-rounded, musically full Oh Brother, a song about Turner’s relationship with a childhood friend. The finally track, Broken Piano brings the pace and feel to a strange, staggering place and quite honestly the powerful drums are what bring the album to a better ending. However, the piano may actually be broken.
Frank Turner has switched up his game in Tape Deck Heart, some for the better, some for the worse but respectfully with meaning and purpose which truly showcase him as an artist.
BOTTOMLINE: Frank Turner delivers less of the DIY Tape Deck and more Heart with this release