Frank Turner
FTHC


3.6
great

Review

by apoplectic apastathetic STAFF
February 13th, 2022 | 60 replies


Release Date: 02/11/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Frank's best in years

I feel like attempting to assess a Frank Turner record with anything closely approximating objectivity would be like trying to convey to my grandma that her homemade sweetmeats simply aren't all that sweet. It’d be terribly ungrateful and disingenuous of me, given I'd gracelessly munch on Frank's savory confectionery any day of the week (what). The chase, swiftly cut towards, is this: a rose-tinted sombrero protects artists such as Frank from receiving anything but my blind, giddy, gushing, gleeful praise. Love, Ire & Song and Tape Deck Heart are the well-weathered pillars atop which my musical taste precariously rests, records that I grew up with and to which I owe an embarrassing amount to. I am blatantly biased and, as such, liable to be extraordinarily unhelpful as a critic … apologies. Consume the following with an appropriate dosage of salt, pinched as required.

Good news: FTHC is everything Frank-fans have been desperately hoping to hear from the Camden songsmith for almost 10 years. Looking inwards and dialing into his hardcore roots once more, the singer-songwriter’s 9th(!) LP marks a return of the sound / sentiment / spark that made the grizzled folk-rocker so endearing and beloved to begin with: numerous stanzas, unashamedly confessional; raucous refrains, unabashedly stadium-sized; and oodles of character, genuine and wholesome and kind. Ever relatable tales are spun just so, simple and direct so as to mandate little unpicking to unpack, yet bursting with vivid lived experience and valuable life lessons. Cozy up to the embrace of “The Work” and “Little Life”, loving odes to the mundane patience that sustains a worthwhile relationship, and scream along to the self-explanatory anthem of “Haven’t Been Doing So Well” - you'll find comfort, probably, I promise. So too in the muscular groove-fests of “The Gathering” and “Punches” can simple joy be gleaned, painfully signable in the extreme and sure to become longstanding live-circuit favorites. The ambitious, outward-facing aspirations of Frank’s last couple of projects are reined-in with refreshing results, FTHC returning to more modest means and engaging ends: a Frank Turner record that actually sounds like a Frank Turner record (yay!).

Eventually, inevitably, the sunshine and rainbows fade away. In their place: quite possibly Frank’s best songwriting in a decade. Heartstrings are plucked and subsequently shattered across “A Wave Across A Bay”, a worthy tribute to Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson and easily the most beautiful track here. Separately, the bitterness of Sleep Is For the Week classic “Father's Day” is reignited and refined by “Fatherless” - skeptically prodding at the concept of masculinity and fatherhood through the lens of an 8-year-old Frank - only to be quenched by the brilliant “Miranda”, coming full circle in an essential tome on self-reflection and empathy. It’s emblematic of the palpable sense of place and peace that resonates throughout FTHC, a record that glances back fondly at the past whilst seeking to reconcile it with the present, all the while looking forward eagerly to what’s to come. Nowhere is this clearer than closer “Farewell To My City”: a boisterous, bittersweet goodbye to London town that’s sure to resonate with those who have followed Frank through the years.

Make no mistake: despite its punk rock opener and hXc inspired title, FTHC is still cheese-stuffed radio fodder that stands absolutely no chance of converting anyone not already signed up to the cult of Frank (to whom I would wholeheartedly recommend England Keep My Bones, a far superior record). However, to my fellow zealots: rejoice! If you felt Be More Kind and No Man’s Land missed the mark, FTHC will remind you of why you fell for Frank in the first place. Just learn the words, sing along and devour his sweet, sweet sweetmeats.



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3.2
good
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Sowing
Moderator
February 13th 2022


41903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review.



Not yet sure if this is good or excellent, but either way it's a big step up from his recent works. I like energetic Frank, and this delivers.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


7596 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers Sow.



Will be interested to see how this lands with others. As a die hard fan, I'm just thrilled that we got another great record that's true to his roots, but suspect that this'll land at a soft 3 average when those less enamoured hear this.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


2255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some of the heavier stuff on here is just not very good. Non Serviam is the best of that style here but songs like “My Bad” and even “Fatherless” just do nothing for me. The Sleeping Souls are wasted on the heavier stuff, especially Matt Nasir.



That said there is a lot of good stuff here.

lucazade22
February 13th 2022


738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great to see Frank back to near his best!

Colton
February 13th 2022


17806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some of the mixing on this is horrendously, unforgivably bad, but the songs slap

Emim
February 13th 2022


33102 Comments


For The Hot Chicks?

Frank Turner Hates Children?

Feel Titties Heal Cities?

Ryus
February 13th 2022


28650 Comments


frank turner's horrible compositions

Emim
February 13th 2022


33102 Comments


Got em

Colton
February 13th 2022


17806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck that horrible comment

Emim
February 13th 2022


33102 Comments


Feel the hate, colton

Colton
February 13th 2022


17806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sry you guys are too soft to appreciate a hardcore album

Emim
February 13th 2022


33102 Comments


I actually like Frank Turner's stuff, but haven't listened to him in a while.

Tunaboy45
February 13th 2022


18172 Comments


not sure if I can bring myself to listen to a new FT album, great writeup though

OverSlyZed91
February 13th 2022


255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The only good song is "Little Life"...the rest is just so uninteresting.

deathofasalesman
February 13th 2022


8522 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sounds like a hardcore green day record so far

Nikkolae
February 13th 2022


6304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Idk its pretty good but some of the stuff here is really eh, but when its good, isss guuuuud

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2022


27478 Comments


Great review!

Haven’t had a chance to listen yet but I’m excited. Friday was so MASSIVE for music releases

Slex
February 13th 2022


15350 Comments


Liking this a little more than my first listen but agree with Chan

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2022


17529 Comments


Oh cool. Was wondering whether this would get a review.

Sowing
Moderator
February 14th 2022


41903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Re-listened to this today and I'm not sure if I'm just allowing the bad Monday vibes to get to me, but I thought it was almost aggressively bad. My first listen was more of a glossing over, just listening to the music for the music almost as a background experience. This time I listened for lyrics and...ooph. Also, is it just me (or Spotify?) or is the mixing/production here really off?



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