Mike Lindquist, Staff Writer
“England Keep My Bones” is the newest album by English folk-punk songwriter Frank Turner. The album came out in the U.S. on June 7. Turner is one of my favorite artists, so I was really excited to get this album. Months later, I find myself still listening to it over and over again. Some people may write him off as just another one of the typical acoustic guitarists that occupy the music world today, but truthfully, he stands above the rest. His raw passion and emotions are weaved throughout every single song he writes; this holds true not only for this album, but his previous works as well.
Turner has a soft spot for poetry and literary novels, as is evidenced in his lyrics, which reference Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” and the work of Ernest Hemingway. The new album features 12 tracks, which include an intro track ironically entitled “Eulogy,” as well as an a capella song—”English Curse.”
Most of Turner’s past works have been about things such as losing a friend, protesting corruption and camaraderie, and this album has all of that, plus some very different topics. In “England Keep My Bones,” he professes his love for his home country, England, so it may be hard to relate to the specifics of some of the songs on a personal level.
A few of the songs also touch upon death, expressing his views on death and how to cope with it. His lyrics to “One Foot Before the Other” are almost like his last will and testament, expressing what he wants to be done with his body after he has died. It is a very powerful and symbolic song about how he wants to be a part of everything after his death.
An artist who really puts himself into his work, Turner said at a show at The Knitting Factory in New York on April 28, “If I have something to say about a subject, I feel kind of duty-bound to fuckin’ say it—consequences be damned.” This is definitely relevant to his work, and it could be that because of this fact, the true emotion shows through in its entirety in every single song he writes. He truly is an amazing musician and a modern day musical poet. I highly recommend picking up “England Keep My Bones” or any of his other previous works. “Well I haven’t always been a perfect person. And I haven’t done what mom and dad had dreamed. But on the day I die, I’ll say, ‘at least I fucking tried!’”