Featured album /// Frank Turner ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ (2015)


Rebellion against the world can be expressed in calm terms without overusing an f-word and screaming obscenities out loud. It can be clever, witty and determined and as nowadays it’s rebellious even to enjoy your life a lot and be happy, then let’s rise together with Frank Turner. The magnificent singer-songwriter has always been known for his reluctance to conform, opposition to cliches and desire to follow his own way in everything he does. Frank’s songs are the hymns for those who love life and live it according to their own rules. He’s, in fact, one of present-day rebels and one of a kind.

From the very beginning of his solo career Mr Turner has been the voice of those who don’t fit in the stereotypical image of what a person must be forced on us by the society and the media. His music is the force behind those who are young in hearts and free in souls. Strongly believing in the  power of music, Frank puts all of his positive energy in his art. His songs always get straight to your heart, become the beacon in the overwhelming darkness of cliches, back you up when necessary and give you an ultimate weapon to fight the grey of the world. Thus if you don’t enjoy life, ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ will show you how to do it. The record is reassuring and reminds you that there’s more to our existence than whining, that any storm passes and life is precious. In many ways ‘Positive Songs For Negative People‘ is a conversation one-on-one with Frank himself. When you listen to this album you keep on feeling that it’s you and you alone he’s addressing, sharing his wisdom and life experience, telling the stories of his life, encouraging and giving you a necessary kick in the butt. A simple, heartfelt, sincere way the singer uses to present his songs creates an intimate, comfortable atmosphere and therefore a rare kind of connection between Frank and his listener.

Apart from clicking on a very personal level, ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ explores a great number of music elements and directions. Beautifully framed by two acoustic, stripped down tunes, the album has so much in between that it’ll keep you wondering non-stop. Punk, folk, ballads, rock anthems all mix into a whirlwind of a record that never gets boring or stale. The opener ‘The Angel Islington’ takes listeners on a leisurely walk around London, instantly making the album very British. Tender and soft, this song is extremely different from the follower ‘Get Better’ which is a pure explosion and the anthem of those restless souls who always want to be better than they were yesterday. The uplifting mood is kept by ‘The Next Storm’ that urges us to never hide from life and difficlties but face them boldly. Encouraging ‘Glorious You’ is a call for action, a belief in somebody voiced out loud, a hand stretched out to help you rise and overcome yout inner problems when music becomes the only refuge and the singer – the only one who believes in you when nobody else does. Folkish motives colour ‘The Opening Act Of Spring’ and ‘Mittens’ into pastel shades of tranquility and calmness, while ‘Out Of Breath’, ‘Josephine’ and ‘Love Forty Down’ shine in raw power and relenless energy. A sing-along, loud beast of ‘Demons’ celebrates life at its best, gives you a massive punch with a simple ‘goddamn, it’s great to be alive’ and boasts a strongly elevating character. Things get very serious by the end of the record, though. Two final songs ‘Silent Key and ‘Song For Josh’ are the tributes to the two late people. ‘Silent Key’ remembers Christa McAuliffe – a teacher who was killed at Challenger explosion – and features Esmee Patterson on vocals. Tense and sad, this track has a tint of desperation going through all of it. On the other hand quiet, soft ‘Song For Josh‘ is the case of Frank tearing his heart open. It’s a tribute to Turner’s late friend Josh Burdette, who used to manage 9:30 Club. It’s so vulnerable and sincere that brings tears into your eyes making you ponder on how fragile life can be.

‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ is a quality, feel-good album from the guy who knows something about life and knows how to frame it into a set of damn good songs that sound like small narratives. However, apart from being a simply good record, it’s also a breath of fresh air that puts smiles on our faces and hope in our hearts. Thank you, Frank!

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