Other than a closing foray into the tragically honest, Frank Turner’s sixth effort is fundamentally straightforward.
Released: 7th August 2015
Many critics and fans alike discuss rock troubadour Frank Turner’s evolution from punk outfit Million Dead frontman to his current guise with a mixture of cynicism and respect. His Etonian heritage an arguable contradiction to his standing within the comparably liberal punk scene, yet his rise to fame and success undeniable. This year alone sees Turner continue his touring prowess with a stop-off at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace.
Yet between Million Dead and his now grandiose commercial rock that occasionally teeters towards Americana, Turner dominated another phase. Moving out of his punk origins, he toyed with his emotional side. Early solo material was not only downbeat but brutally gut-wrenching. With it, Turner developed a masterful balance between introversion and mass connection.
On ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’, his sixth full-length, Turner all-but waves goodbye to the overtly morose, instead welcoming an energy which he began to hone back on 2011’s ‘England Keep My Bones’. The folk elements that facilitated the storytelling of old have also largely been swapped for a Bruce Springsteen like bravado, particularly on lead single ‘Get Better’.
In doing so, he has created an engaging album that truly does reach towards its title’s mission statement. The opening “woo” of ‘The Next Storm’ is potentially cheesy, if not a perfect representation of the uncomplicatedly uplifting tune and lyric to come. “I don’t want to spend the whole of my life indoors,” Turner sings, “I want to step out and face the sunshine.” Finished with the depressed introversion of the past, this is his sunny moment.
With the departure from Turner’s heavily emotive days, ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ doesn’t provide a challenging listen. Other than a closing foray into the tragically honest, his sixth effort is fundamentally straightforward. Yet the predominantly upbeat compositions do all that is intended. Ben Tipple