Frank Turner is a storyteller. Everything he writes is a poetic story, giving you more and more of a glimpse into the life of the formerly-hardcore-vocalist-turned-singer-songwriter, all while giving people a dose of “live your life to the fullest and never give up” . Turner’s sixth studio album, Positive Songs For Negative People, continues this tradition, with perhaps even more gusto and brevity than ever before. You can’t help but want to get up off your ass and seize life to the fullest after listening to this guy play his heart out.
His previous LP, Tape Deck Heart, was a breakup record (and a great one at that). While sadness is a theme that does present itself throughout the course of this album’s twelve powerful songs, hope rings loudly through these tracks with an unbelievable amount of power. The raw first track, “The Angel Islington” gives us an idea of what’s to come, before we blast head-on into “Demons” and “Get Better.” “Love Forty Down” is that song that will (or at least should) come on at the bar, late one night this summer, when the tap is flowing and your best friends are there, ready to sing along.
“Mittens” is a bit of a tonal change, venturing into what I felt was more like alt-rock territory. It worked, and it still sounded very raw, giving a nice chance for listeners to catch their breath. (Producer Butch Walker, who worked on the album, seems to have a knack for helping artists do this.)
By far, the most emotionally charged, and maybe the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard from Frank Turner, comes in the form of “Song For Josh”. This is the closing song on the album, and it was recorded in the memory of a gentleman that headed the security team at the famous 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. The track was recorded live, in one take, in the presence of Josh’s family and friends at the same club shortly after his death.
While it’s a beautiful song and closer to the album, a heartfelt eulogy for Turner’s friend, it’s a wonderful track that I’d recommend listening to if you ever feel alone. I don’t just recommend this album alone; I recommend all of Frank Turner’s albums. If you ever feel like this world has kicked you down, punching you straight in the face, and turning out shit that you can’t handle, turn on Frank Turner’s music. His music will inspire you, give you hope, and remind you through his gifted storytelling and songwriting abilities that everything….everything is going to be okay.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.