Frank Turner, Positive Songs For Negative People - album review: Rarely has such optimism sounded quite bereft of inspiration

Download: Get Better; The Next Storm

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The Independent Culture

This begins as almost an extension of 2013’s break-up album Tape Deck Heart, with Frank Turner still beating himself up.

“I’m the king of the kingdom of mistakes/Broken all the things I could break,” he muses glumly in the acoustic opener “The Angel Islington”; but it’s soon swept away by the raucous punk thrash of “Get Better”, a statement of intent whose small-mercies message – “We could get better, ‘cos we’re not dead yet” – is powered by the simplest of band arrangements.

And, for the most part, it continues in that manner, with rousing populist cliches encouraging one to “lift the weight of the world from your shoulders” and consoling, “you won’t get everything you wanted, but you will never be defeated”. But rarely has such optimism sounded quite bereft of inspiration. Frankly, negative people have a right to more inventive positivism than this.

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