Frank Turner has seen the world for what it currently is, and in Be More Kind he says does not like it one bit
Punk rocker/singer-songwriter Frank Turner has always been a man with a great many things to say about life, the universe, and everything. Much of his topic matter delves from personal feelings and experiences to his views on the world around him.
Though he has not delved into politics in his music since 2011’s England Keep My Bones, he has come back in full swing with his thoughts on the current state of things – particularly in the US of A in his new album Be More Kind.
This album shows how Turner is just trying to get by in a world that is not quite what he thought it was when he was younger and how things have managed to get so mucked up (especially in terms of how Americans treat each other despite the fact that Turner is unmistakably English).
In terms of the sound of the record, it is a bit less musically ferocious but it does maintain much of Turner’s bold outward expression of rage, frustration, disillusionment, and other such things associated with punk.
At the same time, it does have his trademark soft, melodic, passion filled acoustic ballads to sort of balance things out a bit. These however are no less emotionally profound and thought provoking. Such songs include “Be More Kind”, “The Lifeboat” and “Get It Right”.
As an interesting addition, there are even some tunes that have a rather upbeat 80’s pop vibe to them such as “Little Changes”, “Make America Great Again”, “Blackout”, “There She Is”, etc. It seems odd for Frank Turner to do such a thing, but yet he still manages to make it all work.
That said, there is still plenty of rock n’ roll for those who need something electrifying in their lives. Tunes like “1933” as well as “Brave Face”.
To get into more specifics though, there are two tracks in particular that stick out like a sore thumb (in a good way) from Be More Kind.
The first is “1933”. Holy cow. This has to be one of the most lyrically aggressive songs Turner has ever put to tape. It takes direct aim at the whole Trump movement and making big promises of change and making things amazing and better.
In Turner’s own words, he describes the song saying:
“Lyrically, it’s about disappointment and disgust with our political class as a whole; in particular, it’s about the fact that we should treat any movement that promises national renewal with extreme suspicion. That shit tends not to end well, for anyone.”
The next one, “Make America Great Again” is an even more grand instance of shots fired at Donald Trump and all of the people who support him.
It is a song about how as an Englishman/foreigner in general he has gained a bit of an outsider’s perspective on how poorly many of the people of America seem to behave, especially toward minorities or anyone they do not seem to like at that moment as well as how so many people mindlessly follow Trump instead of thinking for themselves.
The chorus sums up the main message of the song in terms of how we should actually make America great again, saying:
“Let’s make America great again
By making racists ashamed again
Let’s make compassion in fashion again
Let’s make America great again”
Be More Kind is certainly the album the world needs right now in a time where things are on such shaky footing. Maybe if everyone listened to what Frank has to say and took it to heart, things might not be quite so bad as they are. This is definitely a record to listen to with an open heart and an open mind.
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