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Frank Turner - England, Keep My Bones Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 89%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.14
Musicianship 9.07
Lyrics 9.07
Production 9.04
Creativity 8.61
Lasting Value 8.86
Reviewer Tilt 8.93
Average: 90%
Inside AP.net

Frank Turner - England, Keep My Bones

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (05/22/11)
Frank Turner - England, Keep My Bones
Release Date: June 6, 2011
Record Label: Epitaph Records in the United States


There is nothing new I can say about Frank Turner that I didn't say when I reviewed his Rock & Roll EP last year. In that review I laid out my thoughts about Turner, heavily praising him for his too-punk-for-punk-music brand of acoustic-ish folk rock. Even though I praised that EP for what it was, I can't say it really revealed what listeners would be getting with Turner's next record. England, Keep My Bones is Turner's fourth full-length, and it is with no doubt or hesitation whatsoever that I gladly report this is his best record. England, Keep My Bones is 12 songs of Turner's best lyricism, musicianship and energy all compiled into what will go down as his defining effort.

Turner's lyrics have always been up-front and real, and opener "Eulogy" delivers on an ultra-personal level. It's basically a short poem that lets him get something off his chest while serving as a disclaimer that England, Keep My Bones is the best he can offer: "Not everyone grows up to be an astronaut / Not everyone was born to be a king / Not everyone can be Freddy Mercury / Everyone can raise a glass and sing / Well I haven't always been a perfect person / No, I haven't done what mom and dad had dreamed / But on the day I die I'll say, "Well at least I fucking tried" / That's the only eulogy I need."

Turner fucking tried, indeed, and succeeded with this record. "Peggy Sang The Blues" is a witty homage to his grandmother, showcasing the lighthearted side of Turner's musicianship, while "Rivers" is a bit darker. Those two songs reveal the spectrum of Turner's style, but England, Keep My Bones isn't confined to those two extremes - rather, this is Turner's most versatile record. Take the defining portion of the album, right smack in the middle, from tracks 5 to 7. "I Am Disappeared," "English Curse" and "One Foot Before The Other" compile a triple-shot of Turner flexing his poetic muscle and paralleling that strength with the best-arranged music he's written.

"I Am Disappeared" is a relative rocker in comparison with most of Turner's catalog, with the song's catchiness early on complementing meaningful lyricism in the bridge. "English Curse" is perhaps the ballsiest song anyone has heard all year - a two minute, 16 second entirely a cappella track where Turner hides nothing and just tells us a story. The song isn't just a showcase of Turner's exceptional vocals, it proves Turner is willing to put things on record that others wouldn't even consider executing. It perfectly sets up "One Foot Before The Other," which is the loudest and most rocking track on England, Keep My Bones.

Turner doesn't disappoint at the end of England, Keep My Bones. "Nights Become Days" and "Redemption" are two slower songs that line things up perfectly for the unbridled joy found in closer and surefire album standout "Glory Hallelujah." The song is one about godlessness, an unashamed recording of Turner's beliefs - or lack thereof. Even listeners who engage in churchly things might have fun singing along to the song's jumpy rhythm...or maybe they'll just skip that track. Turner probably doesn't care.

Multiple references to Turner's homeland of...um...England make this record as much of a personal catharsis for Turner as it is a critical triumph in my eyes. England, Keep My Bones will have a huge lasting value among fans of Turner's earlier work, but equally as fascinating is the opportunity to be let into the mind of an artist who is essentially an anti-rock star. Although Turner is one of the best songwriters around, he refuses to don any titles of grandeur, something well documented in past songs. Regardless, Turner has become a superstar in the eyes of his own fans, and this record will only strengthen that admiration as England, Keep My Bones is Turner's most emphatic success and the best singer/songwriter album that will be released in 2011.

Recommended If You LikeTurner's older work, Bruce Springsteen, English accents.
Follow Me On TwitterWords don't come easy anymore.
Bare Essentials1. Eulogy
2. Peggy Sang The Blues
3. I Still Believe
4. Rivers
5. I Am Disappeared
6. English Curse
7. One Foot Before The Other
8. If I Ever Stray
9. Wessex Boy
10. Nights Become Days
11. Redemption
12. Glory Hallelujah
Run Time: 43 minutes
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 36
11:18 PM on 05/22/11
#2
8SlicesOfPie
http://dwhb.bandcamp.com
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Really looking forward to hearing this. I dug "I Am Disappeared" a lot.
11:42 PM on 05/22/11
#3
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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love this album, nice job TN
12:11 AM on 05/23/11
#4
Keagan Ilvonen
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An 89% And A 92% You No Review Albumz Poorly>!?
12:20 AM on 05/23/11
#5
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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love this album, nice job TN
Thanks pal.
An 89% And A 92% You No Review Albumz Poorly>!?
After we made the mid-year AOTY thread I made my list and Fireworks is No.1, Frank Turner No. 3. There you go haha.
12:22 AM on 05/23/11
#6
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Thanks pal.

After we made the mid-year AOTY thread I made my list and Fireworks is No.1, Frank Turner No. 3. There you go haha.
there's a mid-year AOTY thread?
12:25 AM on 05/23/11
#7
Keagan Ilvonen
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Thanks pal.

After we made the mid-year AOTY thread I made my list and Fireworks is No.1, Frank Turner No. 3. There you go haha.

there's a mid-year AOTY thread?

I was wondering the same thing haha.
12:46 AM on 05/23/11
#8
imnick
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im rather excited for this i must say
12:46 AM on 05/23/11
#9
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Way to be aware, kids.
05:44 AM on 05/23/11
suicidalmoose
Lindsay let me kiss your forehead!
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stoked. frank turner is the man
07:02 AM on 05/23/11
Erik the Orange
What do they know about friends?
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Thanks pal.

After we made the mid-year AOTY thread I made my list and Fireworks is No.1, Frank Turner No. 3. There you go haha.
You know my feelings about this album. It's gonna finish near the top of my list for the year. The man does no wrong.
07:57 AM on 05/23/11
CluckyB
Modern Baseball is WAR
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Quote:
Final Verdict: 89%

Quote:
and it is with no doubt or hesitation whatsoever that I gladly report this is his best record.

Something doesn't lineup here... These two statements put together mean you'd give LI&S a score below 90 but thats just crazy talk, right?

Quote:
"Not everyone grows up to be an astronaut / Not everyone was born to be a king / Not everyone can be Freddy Mercury / Everyone can raise a glass and sing / Well I haven't always been a perfect person / No, I haven't done what mom and dad had dreamed / But on the day I die I'll say, "Well at least I fucking tried" / That's the only eulogy I need."

Those lyrics are about as Frank Turner as them come. If the whole album is even remotely like that it'll awesome.

Overall good review. Can wait for June 6th!
09:34 AM on 05/23/11
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Something doesn't lineup here... These two statements put together mean you'd give LI&S a score below 90 but thats just crazy talk, right?



Those lyrics are about as Frank Turner as them come. If the whole album is even remotely like that it'll awesome.

Overall good review. Can wait for June 6th!
Nah I just don't really care about the score. People would get mad but both this record and LI&S are above 90s for me.
11:33 AM on 05/23/11
ole4b
cursed > praised
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It's hard for me to put into words what's going on in my head most of the time. I was recently crushed by the post-college depression and lack of interest in every shitty boring job opportunity that crossed my path. I had to play Photosynthesis for my parents to get them to truly understand my mindset when it came to conforming to what they thought was the path I should be on.

There are no words to describe the influence this guy has had on me. He fucking writes what's in my head.
11:42 AM on 05/23/11
runningohfive
I know...
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I really love Turner's music. I can't WAIT to get this!!

This review got me excited. Great job!
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