IT has been nearly two years since Frank Turner released his last album ‘Tape Deck Heart’, and finally  ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’ is due for public release this Friday (August 7), and Quays News Entertainment reporter Nathan Smith was lucky enough to get a sneak peak!

“I feel like this record is my definitive statement, a summation of the first five records,” says Turner.

The critically acclaimed 2013 ‘Tape Deck Heart’ set a bar of a higher standard for Turner with tracks such as ‘Recovery’ and ‘Plain Sailing weather’ showing the rough punk style whereas ‘Tattoos’ and ‘Good & Gone’ provided a stripped-back acoustic sound, really showing the unique vocals of the Winchester singer-songwriter.

Both tonally and to a certain literal extent, ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ picks up exactly where ‘Cowboy Chords’ finishes, as opening track ‘The Angel Islington’ continues the acoustic reflective tone giving a smooth transition whilst hinting at what is to follow with the rest of the album.

The sixth instalment to Turners’ studio album collection features his backing-band ‘The Sleeping Souls’ and as a result the majority of the tracks embrace heavier punk-esque vibes which also helps the album achieve it’s positive feel that the name promises.

The lyrics also show a further transition from the last album as ‘PSFNP’ shows acceptance of past demons with a sense of moving on and embracing a positive future with tracks such as ‘Get Better’ and ‘The Next Storm’ showing the eagerness in the ever-meaningful Turner.

A lyric video for ‘Get Better’ was released back in March and ‘The Next Storm‘ is the first music video fans have received hinting of what the new album holds and features a wrestling Frank Turner facing WWE star CM Punk, who is currently the longest reigning champion of the modern era.

After several live performances around the world at many different venues, including the Manchester Arena and the London O2, Turner eventually turned his attention towards the new album at the tail-end of 2014.

Thinking back to his debut album he said: “When a band makes a debut record, there’s a freshness and excitement to it that bands often lose as time goes by.

“I wanted to try and make a record with that young, exciting feel.”

The record was written and perfected in Oxfordshire but was actually recorded in Nashville, USA by producer Butch Walker. Unlike conventional recording techniques of constant efforts at perfection, Turner and his Sleeping Souls opted to instead endure an intense nine-day recording session in which the album was completed.

“Pretty much all of it is live, the end result is everything I want it to be,” says Turner.

Like most of Turner’s tracks, ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’ takes on life’s big issues – triumphing over the darkest adversities – and places them inside a mix of beguiling, intricate punk-chanting anthems.

‘Josephine’ is a punky-sing-along and ‘Mittens’ is a fist-clenched song of defiance whilst tracks such as ‘Glorious You’ and ‘Demons’ pack a bittersweet emotional punch.

The album ends with ‘Song For Josh’, a touching track recorded live in Washington, which shows the reflection of the journey Turner has made since the issues faced in ‘Tape Deck Heart’.

“Positive Songs For Negative People” is Turner at both his most reflective, and celebratory.

By: Nathan Smith

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