Politically-charged, yet comforting and hopeful lyrics flood Frank Turner’s new album, Be More Kind.
- Don’t Worry
This song is so easy to listen to, it’s relaxing and comforting and has a great tempo.
“Don’t give up if you just can’t get away / Don’t listen to the bitter things they say / Put those thoughts behind you / Tomorrow’s a new day”
Second song in, and Frank Turner gets an edge to his sound and political with his lyrics, as he confronts society and the generations of people. Something about it reminds me of Sum 41, and I love it.
“We all thought we had nothing to lose / That we could trust in crossed fingers and horseshoes / That everything would work out, no matter what we choose”
- Little Changes
An early 80’s folk-pop tune that’s fun and catchy. The brings in the perfect amount of horns to accent the song and give it a little bit of a beach-y feel to it.
“Let’s not just pray / Let’s make a change”
- Be More Kind
The album’s first ballad introduces beautiful string accompaniments that make me feel like i’m floating on a raft at sea, as I get lost in Turner’s reassurance and guidance to “be more kind.”
“In a world that has decided / That it’s going to lose its mind / Be more kind, my friends / Try to be more kind”
- Make America Great Again
I gotta admit, when I looked at the tracklisting before listening to the album, this song titled popped out. I immediately became apprehensive. I was definitely pleasantly surprised as I listened to the song, immediately passing it off to a bunch of friends as well. Might be my favorite song of the year (or rather, four…).
“Let’s make America great again / By making racists ashamed again / Let’s make compassion in fashion again / Let’s make America great again”
- Going Nowhere
A country twist emerges in another comforting and relatable song about those times in life where it seems like absolutely nothing is going right.
“When you took your umbrella in the rain but you still got soaked”
- Brave Face
This rock-driven-anthem-turned-gospel song is crazy uplifting, leaving you feeling like you can take on the world and more.
“We’re gonna die like kings and queens / Though we live like beggars”
- There She Is
A melodic and calming song about finding that person that completes you and helps you be you.
“I needed someone who believed me / I needed someone who wouldn’t leave me / I needed her”
- 21st Century Survival Blues
The Cold War’s doomsday era brought to the 21st century by Turner, as he takes another look at society, news, and the aspect of survival within a bomb shelter. I can’t help but think about that same doomsday-to-modern-day connection that As It Is and Neck Deep have both also brought to their most recent albums(okay. and The Peace and the Panic, respectively), and wonder what that says about humanity today, and if we’ve really progressed as much as we tell ourselves we have since the Cold War.
“What’s the point in surviving if you’re just surviving alone? / So meet me at home when the sirens go off”
I love the guitar in this song. It sounds like it could be played in clubs with its synth and claps, but talks on a more somber subject of social dislocation and finding yourself in the dark.
“Are you afraid of the darkness? / I’m afraid of the darkness too”
- Common Ground
I love the minimalistic approach taken for this song, and I find it pairs so well with its message of finding common ground.
“If all we are is dust to dust / Then in the end what’s left of us / Are traces of the way we treat the ones we meet / And the ones who trouble us”
- The Lifeboat
Perhaps the darkest, most sobering song on the album. The song opens on a Spanish-influenced guitar riff, with Turner’s voice soon following in. Strings, like those found in “Be More Kind,” are added, and slowly drums creep in. Each instrument is added in perfect time and adds such an ambiance to the whole song.
“There are victories to grasp more valuable than gold”
- Get It Right
Ending on an acoustic ballad is nothing new, but damn, I’m always a sucker for it. The slow build from another solemn track into a happy, upbeat tune works so well and feels like a great close to a great record.
“Between life and death / We’ll find the time / To get it right”
Check Out: “Make America Great Again,” “Brave Face,” “21st Century Survival Blues,” and “Blackout”
Review by Shane Haley