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Album Review – Frank Turner's 'Tape Deck Heart'

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Frank Turner’s latest album ‘Tape Deck Heart’ is by far one of his catchiest releases to date. That’s not to say he’s forgotten his roots from earlier in his career. He still has the D.I.Y. attitude of his hardcore influences, and it shows in his music.  The album, Turner’s fifth studio effort as a solo artist, was produced by Rich Costey (Muse, Weezer, Rage Against The Machine) and continues the tradition of his sing-a-long, whiskey shot poetry that’s made him famous in the genre.

The opening track on the album “Recovery” really sets the mood for the sing out loud, dashboard tapping road trip experience it brings to mind. I felt after hearing it for the first time, that I just wanted to hop in my car, look up all my old friends, head to Boston, find the nearest bar and enjoy the ride. The album only gets better from there as his poetic lyrics flow like the tap in your favorite watering hole filling your last pint for the evening. The album plays itself as a history lesson of life lived and forgotten memories thrown to the side, only to brighten your day by embracing those lost moments. He embraces his emotions, his voice is filled with scars of past and his talent proves that even the hardcore punk rockers settle down and can tell a good story with an acoustic guitar. It’s works of art such as this that make me wish I picked up the six string a long time ago, grabbed the nearest notebook and pen I could find and wrote down my own experiences for future generations to relate to. And to me, that’s the most important element in your music. Influence, motivation, ambition and a slice of originality. There’s of course songs of filler, that don’t really relate, to me at least, the experience and feel of the overall album. Although this album falls just short of his previous two releases, “Last Minutes & Lost Evenings” and the classic, nearly perfect “England Keep My Bones,” the album will still be an instant classic for fans of Frank Turner, and even for those who just happen to fall upon his work. All I know for certain is that ‘Tape Deck Heart’ will remain in constant rotation in my car stereo.

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The brightest spots on this album, and there are a lot of them, are of course the opening track “Recovery,”  “The Way I Tend to Be,” “Four Simple Words,” “We Shall Not Overcome,” and “Tattoos.”  But trust me when I tell you that the entire album is an awesome work from a such a great artist, you’ll have a blast listening to your favorites over and over again. For those of you who already know and love the work he has produced, this will surely be a welcoming induction into your collection. For those of you who have not had the privilege to hear the brilliant Frank Turner and his laid back brand of catchy folk punk rock, fear not, his newest album ‘Tape Deck Heart’ just hit shelves today and is available for download on iTunes. As is the rest of his collection. The album is available in two different versions with a Deluxe edition with two additional live tracks included.

I highly recommend you turn your stereo up, grab that last bottle of Pure’ Hoppiness,’ sit back and enjoy one of the best albums released this year! Cheers!

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