Frank Turner
England Keep My Bones


4.5
superb

Review

by William Lim USER (17 Reviews)
September 11th, 2011 | 28 replies | 4,331 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Being a thirteen year old, nerdy Asian music fanatic living in an alienating Australian community, you’d think that I would have enough reason to latch onto an album for its lyrical sentiments. Yet, seldom have I done so, as having to read and comprehend lyrics (beyond the simplicity of genres such as pop punk or contemporary R&B, that is) has always seemed to be as daunting as a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, or T.S. Eliot’s legendary Prufrock piece (in addition to the fact that I am, quite simply, lazy), and I am rarely motivated to dedicate myself to such tasks. Take In the Aeroplane Over the Sea for instance. Jeff Mangum’s writing is so abstruse; so subtle, that it would make one (well, me, at least) feel intellectually inferior when reading his perfectly woven symbolic literary illustrations. Not that I avoided the task in order to stabilize my ego (but by saying so may only reinforce the idea), but rather that Mangum’s writings just seemed far beyond me, both in their seemingly distant themes of sexual exploration or deep religious analysis, as well as their unquestionable literary sophistication, and I was therefore unable to fully appreciate the full depth of these lyrics.

But, fortunately, I found a relatable, thought-provoking and emotional lyrical genius in the talented English singer-songwriter Frank Turner. Turner provided a poetically vague style conveyed through a fairly suburban vocabulary, presenting themes of youthful ideals and punk rock mentalities in his anthemic masterpiece Love Ire & Song. The Frank Turner we see on England Keep My Bones is no longer the self-described “underdog kid”, but continues to embody this character in songs such as “Eulogy” and the general theme of “Peggy Sang the Blues”. The other recurring theme Turner incorporates on the record is an expression of his identity as an Englishman, presented in “Rivers” as a journey, implied to be both metaphorical and literal, in which Turner attempts to re-establish his English heritage in his own mind, even stating a burial plan expressing his love of the country, while “Wessex Boy” discusses the nostalgia of returning to a hometown, penned in a rather straight-forward manner, as opposed to the symbolic style of “Rivers”. Turner’s collection of miscellaneous lyrical ideas are equally impressive; “I Am Disappeared” paints surreal images of Bob Dylan, among many other things, as a way of escaping from what is described in the song as “the worst days”; meanwhile, “Redemption”, a love song, discusses his reconciliation with a woman he left in a London restaurant and the regret he feels as he is “guided” by the words of Adam Trask and Bruce Springsteen. Evidently, a very personal album for Frank, but manages to penetrate the listener’s emotions as if his sentiments were their own.

Frank and his backing band The Sleeping Souls continue to uphold the charming instrumental performance of Turner’s previous works, yet England Keep My Bones seems somewhat more enlightened musically than ever before (both in composition and general execution), setting the perfect backdrop to Frank’s vocals, obviously the leading musical element on the record. Electric guitarist Ben Lloyd puts much more of his efforts into impact as opposed to the usual melodic approach of electric guitarists, instead leaving much of the instrumental melodic lines to pianist Matt Nasir. Bassist Tarrant Anderson provides a somewhat traditional set of ‘60s folk bass lines with the occasional lick here or there, making up one half of the rhythm section alongside drummer Nigel Powell, whose work passively holds down the album’s rhythm to keep the spotlight on Turner’s contributions. Additionally, Turner’s amazing acoustic guitar parts are absolutely spell-binding; “Nights Become Days” pits a Kansas-“Dust in the Wind”-reminiscent acoustic guitar composition alongside a majestic, sweeping piano line and mesmerizing strings to create a light wall of sound behind Turner’s vocals, while more upbeat tracks like “One Foot Before the Other” and “Glory Hallelujah” make use of the auditory texture of the acoustic guitar as a supplementary layer to the standard rock group line-up of electric guitar, bass and drums.

Surely, England Keep My Bones is one of the most fulfilling albums of 2011, providing yet another refreshing work from one of the world’s most promising independent singer-songwriters. The record portrays Frank Turner’s misfortunes, emotions, ideas and morals in a way that is so well written that listeners like myself who have yet to go through these experiences may not relate to, but will surely understand, while the audience that have will instantly idolize Turner’s ability to express his thoughts in literary pieces as flawless as these, furthering the splendour of Turner’s efforts on top of his already marvellous vocal and instrumental performances. So, it is only fitting that the record should end with the words “so ring that victory bell”, as England Keep My Bones is surely another triumph for our favourite Wessex boy.



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user ratings (548)
Chart.
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excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
September 11th 2011



3951 Comments


A bit more of a personal review for me. Also, just noticed that I've done way too many 4.5 reviews.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Attis
September 11th 2011



333 Comments


pos

dimsim3478
September 11th 2011



3951 Comments


That was fast.

Comatorium.
September 11th 2011



4002 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Hey dude, you made a mistake. You clicked the 4.5 instead of 5. Crazy shit happens sometimes.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You are 13???

Dang, you write amazingly well!

Digging: Amatorski - From Clay To Figures

Comatorium.
September 11th 2011



4002 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah f'real, good review.

Titan50
September 11th 2011



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're 13?! Dayum...

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011



23617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im trying to download this right now because ive just recently become obsessed with Love Ire and Song but I'm in Kenya and their slow ass internet is PISSING ME OFF. 1 hour to download an album? shit kenya, smarten the fuck up

(great review pos blah blah)

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

vanderb0b
September 11th 2011



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for a great album. As has been said above, you write very well for your age. Gonna see Turner live for the first time in thirteen days, can't wait.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011



7226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is ridiculously good for a 13 year old. Great review, great album.

Adabelle
September 11th 2011



4155 Comments


This is ridiculously good for a 13 year old. [2]

Your flow is really natural, nice work.

EDIT: Just noticed I've read loads of reviews before and just assumed you were much, much older!

Blackbelt54
September 11th 2011



4266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you're 13?!?!?

you're an amazing writer, this review is awesome and so is the album

POS'D

AtavanHalen
September 11th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Being a thirteen year old


If your age is off the clock, you're ready for cock!

Jones
September 11th 2011



38 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, especially for your age! Great album too.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011



6734 Comments


Nice one Dimsim : ]
Albums never gained much interest from me, maybe i'll give it another spin. Also, i think you just shocked the Sputnik community a little lol.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2011



6734 Comments


also POS.

Kris.
September 11th 2011



11329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love ire & song is better
always

Eko
September 11th 2011



2119 Comments


there is absolutely no way youre thirteen. no way.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

Blackbelt54
September 11th 2011



4266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

something tells me you might not be a little 13-year-old Asian kid

wabbit
September 11th 2011



6742 Comments


dudes I don't even know if bitchfork was toilet trained and he was listening to tapes of dark ambient being ruined by magnets



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