Home Read Albums Of The Week: Frank Turner | Undefeated

Albums Of The Week: Frank Turner | Undefeated

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Finding the sweet spot between youthful outspokenness and midlife challenges is no easy feat. But Undefeated, Frank Turner’s 10th album takes up the challenge. This a record that mixes emotionally heavy topics with lighter reflections on the troubles that eventually come to most of us: Who you are versus who you wanted to be. Life-altering loves and fading friendships. Wistful nostalgia. The mental fallout and political consequences that still linger from the pandemic. And the more prosaic issue of persistent backache.

“I’m surprised to report that as I enter my 40s, I’ve returned to being an angry man,” Frank Turner sings on the single No Thank You For The Music. That’s as concise a statement as you need to know what to expect from Undefeated.

“There are no clichés about the difficult 10th album, so in some ways, that’s a liberating statement,” he adds. “But at the same time, I have a duty to justify writing and releasing a 10th album. That’s a lot of records for anybody. Also, I’m 42. Which is not a sexy, rock ’n’ roll age. But all through my career, I’ve been interested in writers like Loudon Wainwright III or The Hold Steady — people who write about adulthood, essentially.”

While Undefeated is thematically informed by this time in life, sonically it’s full of echoes to influences that Turner has touched upon at various moments in his kaleidoscopic career. It switches from Black Flag to Counting Crows, from Descendents to Pogues via Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg. Its freewheeling nature is reflective not only of his newfound independence, but also of the creative environment in which he found himself.

In true DIY spirit, Undefeated represents a new chapter for the punk veteran — the result of Turner’s decision to step away from the major label world and re-embrace the liberation of working as an independent artist. Additionally, the album was recorded in the home studio that he and his wife, Jessica Guise, share on Mersea Island, Essex, and was written and produced entirely by himself. It also features his longstanding, loyal bandmates The Sleeping SoulsBen Lloyd (guitar), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Callum Green (drums) and Matt Nasir (piano).

The release of Undefeated will of course see this punk road warrior tour with the tenacity and intense schedules that he’s known for (such as the sprawling 50 States in 50 Days North American tour) but with even bigger ambitions that will be revealed in due course as he nears his 3000th (!) show. But for now, anticipate the new album: A typically energizing, literate, playful and provocative set from a musician who remains Undefeated after a quarter-of-a-century in the game.”