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Release Date: Jan 15, 2007
Genres: Xtra Mile
Number Of Tracks: 13
This time around the energetic Frank has traded the electric for an acoustic, grabbed a stool and has iterated why he was the genius behind Million Dead.
Sleep Is For The Week
The Hurt Within, on march 05, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This time around the energetic Frank, ex-Million Dead bellower, has traded the electric for an acoustic, grabbed a stool and has iterated why he was the genius behind MD. Although his sound has dramatically altered from screaming vocals to a country-esque raw vocal style, fans of MD will still appreciate the songs on offer, as well as gaining a plethora of new fans too. His English routes are somewhat apparent though, and those outside of the little Isle will listen perplexed at the odd line; with lines aimed at ex-Prime Ministers and kids on the streets, that said, anyone can connect with his personal, yet honest musings on modern society; sung from a mouth on the receiving end of all the decadent cracks society has to offer.
The album opens with the uplifting and raw 'The Real Damage' a song dedicated to 'The morning after the night before when you wake up, somewhere unknown. Yet by the end of the song, the uplifting mood is replaced by a sense of melancholy without even a change of chords, just tone of voice. The second track 'Vital Signs' continues in a similar vein, except now we are treated to a small string and percussion accompaniment too. The song as a whole extenuates life in general, telling us to enjoy the finer joys in life. Track three; 'Romantic Fatigue' stutters along with a simple bass and drum backing, while the tone plummets to it's most depressing on the album with 'A decent Cup of Tea; a simple guitar job; where Frank's quiet vocals really drag you down to the levels he must have felt when writing the song. However the original upbeat feel is predictably and temporarily recaptured with 'Fathers Day' but as the title suggest his sombre voice juxtaposes the happy-feet tone with that of a very apathetic take on a certain Fathers Day in his childhood. 'Worse Things Happen at Sea' really packs a punch both lyrically and musically, both of which are out of his style; perhaps slightly out of place on the album, and more intricate than what we've come to expect; this song, my favourite on the album in fact, builds to a beautiful crescendo with a simple string section backing. Track 7 is one of the more average numbers on the album. But when 'Back in the Day' kicks in you'll soon regain enthusiasm, by far the most upbeat track, it really picks up tempo, and any flailing crowd. 'Once We Were Anarchists' is defiantly the most political song on the album; flowing beautifully alongside his singing voice, as does the maudlin 'Wisdom Teeth'. 'The Ladies Of London Town' comes across as the anthem of the album with a full backing band. MD fans will really identify with the guitar work, and will cross finger in the hope to hear a slight rasp in Franks voice, that sadly never comes, Which I do see as a line of direction for the future, Just the odd break in certain songs would really emphasise his meaning. // 8
Lyrics: As he does musically. Lyrically, Frank Turner pushes the boundaries. His early years were spent during the Thatcher Years a somewhat depressing time in recent English history, and his distinctly political upbringing is clear throughout the album. A previous EP featured the song Thatcher f--ked the kids, yet this time around he adopts a more subtle approach reminiscing over demonstrations (Once We Were Anarchists) The shortcomings got clearer, as the price we paid got dearer and dearer. and The times they aren't a-changing, Yeah, England's still shit and it's still raining, Really counter some of his more personal memoirs (Wisdom Teeth) But my days have taught me this: That every day I spend pretending that I always choose the right path, Is a day that I choose the wrong. and When I was just a skinny lad on holiday by the sea, I met a girl in a Rancid shirt, and a tape she gave to me. With the Black Flag First Four Years and the Minor Threat Discography. Feature perfectly alongside the steadier lyrics on the album (Worse Things Happen at Sea) You say Worse things happen at sea, I say Worse things have happened to me. Bitter eyes to the bedroom floor. And we're not going to talk anymore. There's nothing really comparable to Franks lyrical style, as it's so personal to him, yet still managed to speak volumes to every listener, each able to relate due to the very public themes he writes and for the most part due to the simplicity of the music, his voice is perfect alongside every instrument. // 9
Overall Impression: Impression: If there is anything bad to say about the album is that with all the accompaniments on the CD his live show is often just him and the guitar, some songs just don't translate. But after one listen Sleep Is For The Week will have you hooked, the simple melodies, thoughtful lyrics and multi-linear tones will always grip you every time you listen. There's nothing against which this album can be compared, it stands alone, with a unique voice. Knowing Franks past, it's possible to see him evolving as a musician, further pushing his new horizons till their peak, where I'm certain again he'll change, perhaps we'll see him fronting a metal band next who knows. There's nothing much else I can say to persuade you to hear this, except that you'll only know once you listen. It has to be said though, that this LP as a whole doesn't leave you feeling as satisfied as his first EP, for the simple reason that some of the songs here blend together too much, and the diversity that the early EP offered isn't so apparent. // 7
Sleep Is For The Week
Nirvandy, on july 07, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Frank Turner has over his short solo career found a unique sound which is as far away from the hardcore punkish screams of Million Dead (his previous band) as possible. To compare him to any artist around today is rather difficult but in someways he is rather similar to fellow folk rocker Billy Bragg.
This record in particular (being his first solo effort) offers for most parts a very raw, very personal Frank and it's incredible just how much energy and charisma is conveyed through the music even if it's just one man and his guitar. Musically the songs are relatively simple acoustic pieces but the brilliance behind this is anyone who is inspired to pick up a guitar and play these anthems will have no trouble singing along with the album. // 8
Lyrics: Frank Turner's talent shaines through when you just sit and listen to his words, as a lyricist the man is a genius who can tap into anyones emotions and create whatever reaction he wants. The album opens with 'The Real Damage' - a song essentially about a hangover where you wake up not knowing what the hell happened last night. There is a light touch of humour in this song at first but as it progresses, Frank manages to convey using only his voice a degree of regret below the surface, something I'm sure we can all relate to. One of my favourites on the album and certainly it's most saddening and deeply honest is 'A Decent Cup of Tea' a song about that person we all long for but they don't seem to notice we care so much - "It's not about the days where everything has turned out right, Yeah it's more about the moments when she calls me in the night, To make her cups of tea and wash the weary worries from her head, And to draw the pain out slowly as I put her into bed." Give this song a listen and tell me that line doesn't bring a tear to your eye. Although he may not have one of the most elegant of vocal styles, as he utters every word you feel his pain almost as though he never did get over the heart break and by singing he is revisiting the memories. Luckily the he next offers the perfect pick-me-up in the form of "Father's Day" anotherly lyrically sublime effort this time documenting a neglectful, cheating father. I could talk for hours of the perfection in lyrical style but perhaps the record's highlight (musically as well as lyrically) comes in the form of 'Ladies of London Town' - a song featuring powerful, growling guitar work. Another song about losing out in love, Frank seems to have written this one whilst observing the manerisms of the female race during a night out in London. You can really place yourself in his position - standing alone in that club looking on at couples and wondering what you're doing wrong. // 10
Overall Impression: As a debut album this record is incredible. Although it may never be heard by a large audience, there is no shame in that because no doubt Mr. Turner is very proud of this record. He has created some very catchy tunes here and after just a few listens you'll be singing every word. Amazingly, the stories in this collection of songs are incredibly blunt and personal but at the same time are univeral and offer something for everyone to relate to. I personally will be placing this album amongst my favourites of all time - a bold statement I know, but never before has any record resonated so deeply with me. Ihope that you give it a listen and it helps you emotionally as much as it has helped me. I personally want to give it 10/10 but in reality I think there is a hint of a weak moment in the middle of the record so it isn't quite perfect enough - it gets a 9. As an aspirant musician myself this is the slbum I want to make and it has had great influence on me - I hope it does you too. Give Frank a chance! // 9