Frank Turner

"The Third Three Years"

(Xtra Mile); Folk Punk

By ​Phil ​Bennett

In the past eight years, Frank Turner has put out five albums, five eps, and a regular stream of compiled rarities to fill in any cracks.

The aptly titled The Third Three Years is a bunch of unreleased demos, cover versions and iTunes sessions produced over the past three years and flung together in a brown paper bag of a compilation.

Sort of like a Royal show lucky dip.

Turner tours constantly, writes like breathing and records incessantly. And he’s one of those rare artists who have a relaxed enough attitude and seeming freedom to let his fans have it all.

Raw both in spirit and ability, his songs are rough and ready little nuggets about ordinary people living ordinary lives as they struggle to survive their respective lots in life with a smile and a deep breath.

Being the honest guy he is, and this being a warts and all bag of songs that never got officially released, you need to accept the good and the average with the brilliant and wonderful if you want to get the most out of it.

There are some serious political statements (Something Of Freedom), some quirky overheard conversations (Happy New Year), a few eyebrow raisers (Queen’s Somebody To Love and a manic mandolin driven version of Wings’ Live And Let Die) and some moments of pure goosebump-inducing magic in the way the touchstones of emotion and thought are lit (The Way I Tend To Be).

And being that honest guy, these “Three Years” compilations really are the best way to sample Turner - without the slowly crafted construction and concept shaping that comes with making an album per se, they’re more like random piles of umms, aahs, mumbled apologies and angry exclamation marks.

Which makes it something very warm and very, well, human.

Uninhibited and free as a bird.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.