3) 'Love, Ire & Song' by Frank Turner
The title pretty much sums it up. Tons of artists out there write about life and their past, but Frankie T writes from the perspective of the everyday Englishman working hard in his craft as the underdog. Before the success of 'Poetry of the Deed' and 'England Keep My Bones' (at least I think after those records came out) he became much more well known and began to establish himself outside of the UK. Anyway, he got what he deserved and what he had been working for, success. After all, that's why we work. If not then you're lying. For me, the album's anthem is 'I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous' which sums up the lives of his friends (although, may be fictional in the story or not) and he's saying that he's sick and tired of his friends living in the B-list when they should be in the A-list. Of course, song meanings differ from person to person, but for me, this song is the shout-out to the guys and girls out there who try everyday to make something of themselves. Frank is no stranger to punishing himself in his own songs. Tracks like 'Better Half' and 'Imperfect Tense' seem to put himself in the firing line where he's condemning himself for something or how someone deserves someone better than him. Mind you, 'Photosynthesis' is the absolute king of 'arse-kicking' songs. I wholeheartedly agree with him when he chants:
Oh when no-one's yet explained to me exactly what's so great about slaving fifty years away on something that you hate
About meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity, well if that's your road then take it, but it's not the road for me.
2) 'Under My Skin' by Avril Lavigne
Lets not beat around the bush about this one, shall we? Avril Lavigne is now a full on popstar, and that's OK. However, before she started dancing about Hello Kitty, she used to write cool rock songs and soft ballads when she was younger that solidified her excellent second album as a masterpiece among her fan-base. The result was 2004's 'Under My Skin'. Unlike her debut album, this is much darker, more personal and heavier and it's all for the best. Songs here are ones you can probably relate to and when listening to it now, it always hurts because she doesn't write this sort of music anymore. That's OK, if she wants to write more upbeat radio tracks, more power to her, but I still can't help but wish the Avril with the bad attitude would come back. Let's just pretend her JUST GOT MARRIED single 'Let Me Go' didn't happen. When I heard 'Together' for the first time, I immediately thought: 'Oh, she felt this way too. I guess I'm not a freak.' It was like a light-bulb went off and there it was, my song. Not just that, but 'Fall to Pieces' presents itself as a song that seems to me about pining after a relationship long since past its prime and 'Nobody's Home' is not just a song about a runaway (who may or may not be schizophrenic), but also my favourite song she ever wrote. This will probably always be my favourite Avril Lavigne album, unless of course she goes back to this sort of music, but after the disastor that was 'Hello Kitty', I'm going to go out on a limb and say she won't. God, I hate talking bad about her.
1) 'The Sufferer & the Witness' by Rise Against
As I mentioned earlier, these guys have a new album coming out this summer and with that, I had to break out this gem again. This was the first 'Rise Against' album I ever purchased. And, Every. Single. Song is awesome. It's rare to find an album where each track is gold, but this one is just such an album. Not only is the music golden, but the lyrics. Tim McIlrath (the singer) has always been known for three things: his hair, his howling voice and his writer's touch. He has a way of writing poetry in such a way that nobody else can. In the same way every writer has their own voice and style, Tim has his as well, but he yells and screams it to anybody who'll listen. One song in particular which is fantastic in demonstrating his words is 'The Good Left Undone', especially the final chorus.
All because of you, I haven't slept in so long, but when I do I dream I'm drowning in the ocean longing for the shore where I can lay my head down inside these arms of yours. All because of you, I believe in angels, not the kind with wings, no not the kind with halos, the kind that bring you home. If home becomes a strange place I'll follow your voice. All you have to do is shout it out.
Songs of the Week:
- 'I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous' by Frank Turner
- 'Fire Doesn't Burn Itself' by Sam Flax
- 'Nobody's Home' by Avril Lavigne
- 'Who Knows' by Avril Lavigne
- 'Fall to Pieces' by Avril Lavigne
- 'Together' by Avril Lavigne
- 'Behind Closed Doors' by Rise Against
- 'Ready to Fall' by Rise Against
- 'The Good Left Undone' by Rise Against