Frank Turner, as a solo artist, just released his seventh studio album, Be More Kind. This album is mainly divided in two parts, one about politics and topics as Brexit and Trump, and one about general world problems, as environmental disasters. Although in Be More Kind Frank Turner confronts with such relevant subjects, he is able to deliver some catchy and uplifting songs, mixed with more tranquil melodies.
Be More Kind opens with Don’t Worry, a relaxed and serene tune that recognises the difficulties in life and gives hope on how facing tough situations.
Later on, Frank Turner decides to use Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” in an optimistic and positive way; and he even has few ideas on how to change America: “By making racists ashamed again / Let’s make compassion in fashion again”. Despite the importance of the message, I believe that using Make America Great Again is a cliche choice.
Moving on, even though musically Blackout sounds cheerful, uplifting and catchy; it discusses two serious topics. First, it explicitly refers to the time when earth will face the end of electricity; second, it uses the catastrophic scenario as a suggestion to go over easy solutions and take things for how they are “We can’t turn just around and close the door on the world / It’s asking uneasy questions / We should be asking ourselves uneasy questions”. Similarly, in 1933 Frank Turner recommends to “Be suspicious of simple answers”. In this rock energetic tracks he relates the Nazi Germany to the current US situation.
Finally, the album concludes as it started: Get It Right is a quite and hopeful song suggesting “It’s a long road up to recovery from here, a long way back to the light / A long road up to recovery from here, a long way to making it right”.
Overall, Frank Turner put together an outstanding album that covers politics, environmental issues and more. Be More Kind is a rollercoaster of emotions, themes and sounds: every song differs from the previous ones and creatively tackles a specific topic. Frank Turner honest and thoughtful songwriting and ability to evolve are the two pillars behind this impressive record.