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FTHC (2022) - Frank Turner | Music Review

Frank Turner scores his first number one record with FTHC

by Elena Brand

Rating: 4/5

photo courtesy of Frank Turner official store

With incredibly raw, honest, and personal lyrics, fans of Frank Turner’s folk and acoustic-based tracks are in for a surprise with his new release. Indulging in his punk roots with his ninth studio album FTHC (Frank Turner Hardcore), Turner dabbles into the genre melodically but also in terms of political allusions.

‘Non Serviam’ (Lat. ‘I will not serve’) is directed at people and against the establishment. It urges not to look away from those in need and calls for having a backbone, for standing up to oppressors, especially if disadvantages aren’t affecting somebody directly. ‘The Gathering’ is about the frustration with the government’s handling of Covid-19 and encourages people to stand in unison, to keep each other safe, and to ‘gather together’ in a metaphorical sense.

In ‘My Bad’ he talks about white male privilege and how he hates that it’s ‘people that look like him’ who have made the world what it is and that he wishes things were different and that change needs to happen. It’s a song about guilt, acknowledgment, and recognising your opportunities. Tracks such as ‘Haven’t been doing so well,’ ‘The Resurrectionists,’ and ‘Punches’ are personal accounts of Turner’s struggle with anxiety, self-loathing, and feeling lost. Illustrating that every day is a fight and that it is worth it to fight on, ‘A Wave Across a Bay’ is a gut-wrenching addition to the tracklist. Turner expresses his belief that, in his last moment of life, Scott Hutchison, a fellow musician who jumped off a bridge on the Firth of Forth, finally escaped the demons that had haunted him.

‘Fatherless’ is angry and emotional and points out the artist’s struggle of growing up rejected, desperate for a role model, and feeling like a 40-year-old child. This anger shifts to acceptance in the song ‘Miranda’, in which he reveals that his father has come out as transgender. Using the differing pronouns to distinguish his father’s actions versus her actual personality, Turner recognises that Miranda never hated him but that it was a reflection of an inner struggle:

‘Hе was angry at my clothes, my hair, my music, my teen age

But one sunny aftеrnoon she was dancing next to me on stage

I felt my anger drain away from inside my ribcage

And all the years we were estranged

I was always hoping you would find a way to change

And after everything that we've been through

Miranda, it's lovely to meet you’

Frank Turner takes you on a ride with FTHC and illustrates the ups and downs of life in an emotional, honest, and direct manner. Listen to the damn album.


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