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Album Review: Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart

24 April 2013 | 10:34 am | Samantha Armatys

Its true strength lies in its ability to say something that has been said many times before – with words so simple and elegant – that listeners have no choice but to smile at the profundity.

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The fifth solo album from ex-Million Dead frontman Frank Turner is his most personal pursuit to date. The unlikely indie-folk troubadour opens up his Tape Deck Heat and bleeds shiny polyester ribbon. With a good dose of romantic catharsis, Turner delivers his mix-tape with a poetic and playful gait that can make you laugh and break your heart all at once.

I have searched for you in the darkness of a dozen dingy dance floors, the countless queues of cafes in the suburbs, the bedclothes of a thousand strangers' bedrooms”, begins Good and Gone. Such is Turner's way of capturing the essence of a feeling with a few perfectly candid observations. On Plain Sailing Weather there is a relatable nihilism that – coupled with a rough elegiac tone – will provide the soundtrack for many nights of drinking alone.

With song titles like Thatcher Fucked The Kids, Turner has been known for his brash ideologies in the past. This time he trades in politics for driving melodies and comes out on top. Single track Recovery is a piano bruising dancehall number that is as catchy as the current bout of flu, but promises to last longer. Showing his punk rock roots, Four Simple Words creates an anthem (“I want to dance”) for inciting the good times.

Tape Deck Heart is a cocktail of self-reflection and storytelling that occasionally errs towards sentimentality but always finds its feet. Its true strength lies in its ability to say something that has been said many times before – with words so simple and elegant – that listeners have no choice but to smile at the profundity.

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