Be More Kind is the latest album to be released by British singer-songwriter Frank Turner, providing yet another thought provoking and poignant album from the public school boy turned musician.
By Jane Howkins
Turner has been somewhat criticised recently for drifting away from the rousing political songs that were his staple, instead moving into ‘cheesy’ territory. Whilst this is true in some ways (There She Is is a bit too much for us), we think it’s the sound of a man growing up and maturing, and that’s something that Turner has been slowly doing over the past few albums. The political tracks are still there, however the singer-songwriter has penned more songs about his personal life, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing to us.
The album starts off slow with Don’t Worry and ends on another quiet note with the wistful Get It Right. You almost get the feeling that Turner is trying to send a message to the world, with the whole of Be More Kind acting as an audio letter of sorts, asking people to do what the title of the record states. At times this may come across as slightly insincere, however we don’t think that was the intention at all, and Turner has always seemed rather honest to us – even if that has landed him in some dodgy situations in the past.
The more political tracks include Make America Great Again and 1933, both tracks that link back to the state of politics in the United States at the moment and Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. It’s rather interesting to hear Turner’s opinions on these things, as in the past he has been criticised very much for his political opinions – yet here he seems right on the money with them. Another song that we love is Lifeboat, featuring an eerie and almost pagan feel to it that isn’t far from being a Johnny Flynn track.
In some ways Turner sounds happier and more at peace with himself and life, which is great to hear. However, that fire is clearly still in his belly and the old dog isn’t dead yet, so don’t write him off just yet. Be More Kind is still a very good album, if not quite as poignant as some of his earlier records.