Frank Turner
Poetry of the Deed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 7th, 2009 | 67 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Because life is too short to live without poetry

Frank Turner has come a long way since his days fronting England's premier turn of the millennium post-hardcore band Million Dead. His 2007 solo debut Sleep is for the Week was just a glimpse of things to come. While it occasionally stumbled, Frank's Braggian tales of politics, family and nights spent drinking (and the consequences of) were bursting at the seams with potential. That potential was realized on 2008's Love Ire & Song. On Love Ire & Song, Turner fine tuned his charming wit and lyrical depth into a boisterous folk record that brilliantly exclaimed that while the optimistic care free days of youth may be gone and have been replaced the malaise and apathy of knowing that the real world doesn't work exactly how you wish it should, that doesn't mean that the best days of your life have passed you by (if you are willing to put in a little effort that is).

Ever the workaholic, Poetry of the Deed is Frank Turner's third album in three years. Stylistically, not much has changed from last year's Love Ire & Song. His instantly likable folk-rock jaunts still retain their infectiously hummable qualities, begging for the stage and the inevitable audience sing-alongs of a live setting. The only major change is the new found presence of Frank's backing band. On his previous works his band was only there to act as a needed supplement to his voice and guitar, but on Poetry of the Deed they are liberated from their backing position giving songs like “Live Fast Die Old” and the title track a feel reminiscent to the Hold Steady. Even on the Celtic gambol of “Sons of Liberty” and the laid back singer-songwriter soft rock of “The Fastest Way Back Home” Frank's band propels the songs to new heights.

Following in the tradition of everything else he's done, Frank Turner's lyrics on Poetry of the Deed are top notch. “Dan's Song” is an ode to friendship that beams with Turner's endearing existential questioning of the merits of adulthood. “Well work weeks make us weary/School's a distant memory/And it's easy to ask questions of ourselves/ Like where it is we're going?”, his easily relateable prose is almost comforting. Frank only adds to his charm on the energetic DIY manifesto “Try this At Home” as he proclaims that there's “no such thing as rock stars/ they're just people who play music/ and some of them are just like us/ and some of them are dicks...” before saying that his fans can do better than “some half arsed English country singer.” Given his punk rock pedigree, it's no surprise that the climax of Poetry of the Deed is the highly politicized “Sons of Liberty”. A rallying call against trading liberty for the illusion of safety, Turner's eloquent yet vitriolic verses explode into a triumphant battle cry.

The only real downside to Poetry of the Deed lies in its familiarity. All of Turner's releases have followed the same basic make up of a rocking number here, a ballad there, an obligatory political song towards the middle, and then some slower numbers to close out the album. Poetry of the Deed is no exception. This makes the album a predictable listen to anyone who has heard Love Ire & Song or Sleep is for the Week.

As someone who resides in Los Angeles, I'm not up to date on Frank Turner's prominence in his native England, but I can speak from experience on his rising status in the States. 2009 has been good to Frank stateside. After completing a short headlining run with Look Mexico that saw him performing at Austin's South By Southwest festival earlier this year, he's since signed with Epitaph, opened for the Offspring, and this fall he'll be touring with The Gaslight Anthem. All a far cry from only a year ago, when this reviewer saw him play a matinee show at the Echo in Hollywood to a crowd of no more than 10 people. Now that he finally has some label backing here in the states, it looks like The Poetry of the Deed should finally be the album that gets the lively Brit the attention he deserves.



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Wanderlustia (4)
Turner delivers heart-felt lyrics with catchy, instantly likable melodies. It's a bit of a change fr...

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Is "Poetry of the Deed" "Poetry of the Dead" in a geordie accent?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


I implore anyone who hasn't heard of Frank Turner to check him out. Super cereal. Do it.

craigy2
September 7th 2009


551 Comments


over here in the UK he's fairly popular, recently saw him at Reading Festival - he played the second stage at about 2:30/3:00. that's the same spot as The Airborne Toxic Event ("sometime around midnight") and Spinnerette (Brody Dahlle). he got a great reaction, must've been upwards of 15,000 people in that tent, most of whom were singing along to every word.
great review by the way, i need to get this

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


nice, news of his success pleases me.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2009


1028 Comments


I feel i want to listen to him but should i just start from the beginning not this release as his style hasn't had much time to change?

Titan50
September 7th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Got Love, Ire & Song and The First Three Years, both great. Looking forward to this

bodiesinflight57
September 7th 2009


870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listening to it atm, not overly impressed so far I have to admit

PanasonicYouth
September 7th 2009


7412 Comments


album hasn't quite clicked with me the way love, ire & song did.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


it's a grower. when I first listened to it i thought it was eh but a few listens later it clicked.

Ulsufyring
September 7th 2009


1724 Comments


fine i'll do it

Waior
September 7th 2009


11461 Comments


Needy feature is requited, awesome review.

Piqued my curiosity enough too.

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


I think you'd like him.

Deathcar
September 7th 2009


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not liking this as much as LI&S atm, but some killer tracks, loving The Road and Sons of Liberty.

Is definitely a quality album though.

If you like Frank Turner, you should check out a band called Crazy Arm, they're on the same label as him and are really good folk/punk.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


will do, thanks for the rec

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


28770 Comments


saw him with the offspring and sum 41

he was ok

thebbqshrimp
September 7th 2009


1207 Comments


Great review. Sounds like my kind of thing. Suppose I should definitely check him out considering I'm seeing him open for The Gaslight Anthem soon.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


at the Avalon right?

TwasGenocide
September 7th 2009


95 Comments


Good shit Mang.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


20857 Comments


Great review Adam. I’ve always wanted to go to one of these gigs where there are only 10 people. Was it awkward for all concerned?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2009


17224 Comments


yeah, you could tell he was really pissed off, but he rocked it none the less. He even mentioned it the last time i saw him (this spring). he packed the Viper Room which holds a couple hundred people and his response to doing so was "wow, this is amazing, the last time I played LA there were I lot less people... Like fucking nobody."

cirq
September 7th 2009


9265 Comments


i might pick this up



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