As soon as Frank Turner went solo it was revealed what a true artist he is. It’s as if he had all these songs bursting to be released, and he finally had the platform to do things in his own time, in his own way. People took notice, people enjoyed, and that’s why he is still around today, and now releasing his new solo effort in Positive Songs for Negative People. It sounds like Frank has taken all he’s learned throughout his solo career, and shoved it all into one record, giving the listener a real lesson in proper song writing.
The Angel Islington kicks us off with its laidback simple approach, styled as a love letter to London. Guitar and vocals are all that’s needed, with a nod to Irish folk music in the rhythm. It’s everything a song based on a city needs, with real love for the England capital written all over Franks voice. Get Better raises the tempo with its punky/rocky maelstrom of sound as the track rattles along with Franks trademark for catchy choruses and insightful lyrics: ‘I was a machine and I was built to last’ sings Turner, which seems true when you think of his roots in Post Hardcore Punk, to where he is now.
Glorious You features one of the best melodies on the record as it surges and falls when necessary against a variety of hooks, whereas Demons longing for the past and youth will throw you though life at breakneck speed. The echoes of previous solo work are present throughout the album, and speak volumes on these two tracks especially.
Frank does save one of the best for last, in a track that fans may have already heard, the beautiful Song for Josh. The live track is a heartbreaker about the death of his friend, and you can actually hear the pain and emotional in Frank’s voice as he works his way through the track. If you can listen to this and not feel moved, you’re a stronger man than I.
Positive Songs for Negative People is a culmination of all that’s great about Frank Turner. It’s a showcase for how and why he has worked so well as a solo artist, and brings together a bunch of songs to create a glorious whole. If you already love Frank, you need this. If you’re a newcomer, welcome to your new obsession.