Sound — 9
Turn is likely the Great Big Sea album that more than any other (including Sea of No Cares) displays their breezy pop side, with the straight-ahead carousing folk half of their collective personality a bit more subdued than usual. This does make room for several gorgeous originals, however, and the rollicking traditional numbers are not totally absent. This album also features Sean Mccann as a writer and vocalist more than usual.
Lyrics — 9
This album finds GBS with more original numbers, seven to be exact, than usual, and Alan Doyle and Sean McCann prove to be excellent writers. a quick run through of the album: 01. Consequence Free - probably the best example of the type of sunny\breezy pop this band is capable of making without drifting to much into Jimmy Buffet territory. A tune one can identify with, and utterly catchy. "A little bit of anarchy but not the hurting kind" 02. Feel It Turn - McCann's first song on the album is a whimsical, dream like ballad of optimistic vision. just as flowing as the previous number, and punctuated with nautical imagery. 03. Jack Hinks - a traditional sailing tune about a lucky sailor; mid fast tempo and ensemble chorus hint at the rousing side of GBS. 04. Demasduit Dream - another original, again hazy and dreamlike, and with even more outstanding imagery. A poignant reflection on aboriginal history in newfoundland. "And the children ran before us, like the foam upon the tide". 05. Boston And St. Johns - considered by many the most gorgeous slow ballad Doyle has written. This decidedly north Atlantic Ballad about a sailor leaving his lover as his ship "sails at dawn" joins the albums first two tracks as prime examples of the sublime acoustic rock GBS has become quite masterful at. 06. Margarita - another McCann song. this one, in title and barroom spirit drifts dangerously close to Buffet style Soft Rock, but with slightly bawdier lyrics. "Nothing on underneath and everybody knows". 07. Trois Navires De Ble - a traditional song from the Newfoundland French community. Autentic, if delivered with the echoing windblown style of much of the original material. 08. Ferryland Sealer - here we finally get a taste of how literally the band can convey the Newfoundland sailing experience. This traditional tune starts slow but will have you on your feet quick. 09. Can't Stop Falling - an outstanding original, faster than the others on the album. The tempo and subject matter is comparable to the Beatles' "I've Just Seen A Face". First rate folk-pop. 10. Old Brown's Daughter - a beautiful Newfoundland folk tune sung in a capella four part harmony. Possibly the best example of the band's outstanding vocal harmonies. 11. I'm A Rover - along with (8), this is maybe the only track on the album where rousing, in all it's glory celtic folk tune is pounded out by the Boys. A fairly well known tune, this and the opening track give a fair indication of GBS's range. 12. Captain Wedderburn - an 18th century riddle song (child ballad #46)concerning a woman giving the title officer a series of odd questions before he may sleep with her. Beautifully sung by Sean McCann. 13. Bad As I Am - similar in style to (9), this original number hums along with it's expression of a rover's spirit: "As bad as I am, I'm still here".
Overall Impression — 8
Nearly all of Great Big Sea's albums are wonderful listens, combining heart pounding traditional stompers with flowing, soothing original songs, all delivered with unequaled harmonies and massive acoustic backing tracks. The formula varies little from album album, yet the material is nearly all simply outstanding. For that reason one would be well advised to start with any of their albums, though listeners seeking a "quieter" side to the band would be best suited to start here.