Review: Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart

Yes, Tape Deck Heart is not a book (although Frank Turner has been promising one for a while now!) but I always felt like music and writing are very closely related – poetry and stories set to melody, while what we do is trying to create melody in the stories and in the way the words are spoken out loud.

Tape Deck Heart is also the first album this year that is making me absolutely and positively giddy with excitement. It has been for months waiting for it, and it certain does now that I can finally listen to it. Described as a break-up album, Tape Deck Heart has a beautiful inner consistency of sound and feeling that speaks me deeply. It also rings back to an older Frank Turner, one before Wembley and England Keep My Bones (which I liked but found a bit too varied and can never listen to from start to finish). It feels more grown-up and more aware of his roots while taking them to much more mature place sound-wise. As an album it definitely restored my faith in this genre and the strange change that can sometimes accompany wider fame. Frank has definitely passed with flying colours here and I can’t wait for what he comes up with next.

[pullquote]You kind of remind me
of scars on my arms
that I made when I was a kid,
With a disassembled

disposable razor I stole
from my dad,
When I thought that suffering
was something profound, that
weighed down on wise heads,
And not just something to be avoided,
Something normal people dread.

— Tell Tale Signs[/pullquote]

At the moment, I am particularly enchanted by Plain Sailing Weather, Tell Tale Signs and — heard live before and after waiting for months to listen to in studio quality: Polaroid Picture. In fact there is literally only one song that I am less than impressed by – Tattoos – which seems a little bit too high on the sentiment scale or too low on the artistry. But that is on the Deluxe Edition as it is.

For long-time fans, the album does bring back long-familiar sounds, beautiful new lyrics and the raw, bold, aching honesty that we we know Frank so well for. There are even a few songs that somehow transport me right back into the youth centres and the tiny stages, the sole troubadour with the guitar that I can’t help but miss sometimes. If you have never heard of him, go pick it up – it represents him really well, I think.

Leave a Reply