That affable bloke from England is back with another album of catchy folk songs. England Keep My Bones is Frank Turner’s fourth studio album and hearing it for the first time, it sounds so familiar, so comforting, you can’t help but enjoy it. And that is the beauty of Frank Turner’s songs. They sound like something you’ve heard before but had forgotten about in the back of your mind. They open themselves for you to buy in to his tales of travelling the world, his home, friends, pubs and his love of music. It’s what makes Frank Turner such a brilliant songwriter and performer.
England Keep My Bones sees Frank move back into a fuller band sound that he brought in with the previous full length, Poetry Of The Deed, but while that album had more of an upbeat rock n’ roll feel, this one is more suited to his mood and songwriting. The core folk element remains and can be heard in Peggy Sang The Blues but is rounded by the use of a backing band to turn these simple folk ditties into soundtracks to the tales he writes about. This is most evident in I Am Disappeared which has that Walking In Memphis feel to the song.
Being away from home has always been a recurring theme in Turner’s songs in the past. This time around he really displays his love for England and the love of being home. The track English Curse is a great traditional ye olde track sung a cappella. The tale of a curse besotted on those who try to steal land from the English is quickly turned around by the heavy rock inspired One Foot Before The Other, which is undoubtedly the heaviest song Frank has written since his old hardcore punk days.
Other stand out tracks are I Still Believe (taken from the Rock & Roll EP last year), If I Ever Stray which is a traditional Frank Turner folk sing along track and the final track, the beautiful Glory Hallelujah. A typical upbeat and positive Frank Turner track that perfectly caps off the album by telling us there is no god, heaven or hell.
This album should surely cement Frank Turner’s place as one of the great modern day songwriters. This album shows enough versatility to move out of the folk genre and out of the acoustic punk style to be labelled just a singer/songwriter. It is what he is and he is damn good at it.