Be More Kind

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Be More Kind
Be More Kind (album cover).png
Studio album by
Released4 May 2018
Recorded2017
Studio
  • Niles City Sound Studios, Fort Worth, Texas
  • East West Studios, Los Angeles
  • Livingston Studios, London
Genre
Length48:27
Label
Producer
Frank Turner chronology
Positive Songs for Negative People
(2015)
Be More Kind
(2018)
No Man's Land
(2019)
Singles from Be More Kind
  1. "1933"
    Released: 28 January 2018
  2. "Be More Kind"
    Released: 23 February 2018
  3. "Blackout"
    Released: 16 March 2018
  4. "Make America Great Again"
    Released: 9 April 2018
  5. "Little Changes"
    Released: 30 April 2018

Be More Kind is the seventh studio album by English singer-songwriter Frank Turner,[1] released on 4 May 2018 by Xtra Mile Recordings.[2] This is the final album to feature Nigel Powell on drums.

Background[edit]

Frank Turner released his sixth studio album Positive Songs for Negative People on 7 August 2015, via Xtra Mile Recordings.[3] Later that year, on 20 November 2015, Turner released a vinyl box set titled The First Ten Years, containing three previously-released compilation albums – The First Three Years, The Second Three Years, and The Third Three Years – as well as a new compilation titled Ten for Ten.[4] To promote both releases, Turner embarked on an extensive European and North American tour, with support from Northcote and various other artists.[5]

In a December 2016 interview with Upset Magazine, Turner revealed that he argued with his record label during the creation of Positive Songs For Negative People, believing that he was "in a position where my artistic integrity was on the line".[6] He also told the magazine that he believed the album was "emptying out one particular creative cupboard", and that he was "in the middle of trying to decide precisely which direction I want to head in next".[6] On 22 January 2017, Turner released a live recording of "The Sand in the Gears", originally performed during his US tour.[7] Later that year, on 24 November, Turner released Songbook, a compilation album featuring his personal favorite tracks, alternative recordings of previous releases, and one new song. He also announced that his next studio album would be released in 2018.[8]

Composition[edit]

Its title is based on a line from a Clive James poem first published in the 3 June 2013 issue of The New Yorker in which he describes his own mortality called "Leçons des Ténèbres". The line which inspired the title reads: "I should have been more kind. It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late."

The album has been described as "a record that combines universal anthems with raw emotion and the political and the personal, with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner's sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades."[9]

It was produced by Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block, formerly of psychedelic-rock Texans White Denim, and Florence and the Machine and Halsey collaborator Charlie Hugall.

The artwork for the album, including one illustration for each song, was done by Ben Rix. Rix also invited people to submit their own artwork to add to the process online.[10]

Release and promotion[edit]

Singles and music videos[edit]

Frank Turner announced the details of his then-upcoming album, including the title, track listing, and release date, on 29 January 2018.[11] As part of the album announcement, the first single from Be More Kind, "1933", was made available for streaming the same day.[12] Nearly one month later, on 23 February 2018, Turner released the second single from the album, the title track "Be More Kind".[13] Turner released the third single, "Blackout", on 16 March 2018.[14] The accompanying music video, released the same day, was filmed on the George Lucas stage at Elstree Studios, the same studio used for filming Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.[15]

On 9 April 2018, Turner released a music video for the fourth single on Be More Kind, "Make America Great Again". In the video, Turner travels around Austin, Texas, asking residents what, in their opinion, is the greatest thing about the United States.[16] The last single to be unveiled before the album's release was "Little Changes", which was serviced to radio stations on 30 April 2018.[17] The music video for "Little Changes" was released on 4 May, the same day as Be More Kind. It depicted Turner attempting to dance alongside two other men.[18]

Tour and live performances[edit]

As part of the 29 January album announcement, Turner also unveiled the details of the "Be More Kind World Tour", which ran from May to October 2018 in North America. Turner was accompanied by his backing band, the Sleeping Souls, and was supported on the tour by Lucero, The Menzingers, and The Homeless Gospel Choir.[11] On 23 April, he added seven tour dates in the United Kingdom, performed in January and February 2019. As part of the tour announcement, Turner also announced an exclusive tour edition of Be More Kind, featuring alternative cover art and a fold-out tour poster.[19]

Music videos[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.6/10[25]
Metacritic81/100[26]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[27]
Clash6/10[28]
Drowned in Sound8/10[29]
The Independent4/5 stars[30]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[31]
NME4/5 stars[32]
PopMatters8/10[33]
Punknews.org3.5/5 stars[34]
Under the Radar7/10 stars[35]

Be More Kind was met with mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Be More Kind has an average score of 81 based on 11 reviews.[26] The review aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave the album 7.6 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Frank Turner, except 1, 3, 7, 10 by Frank Turner & Iain Archer.

No.TitleLength
1."Don't Worry"3:13
2."1933"3:07
3."Little Changes"3:26
4."Be More Kind"4:06
5."Make America Great Again"3:28
6."Going Nowhere"3:59
7."Brave Face"3:36
8."There She Is"3:48
9."21st Century Survival Blues"3:58
10."Blackout"3:56
11."Common Ground"4:14
12."The Lifeboat"4:10
13."Get It Right"3:26
Total length:48:27

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the Be More Kind liner notes.

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Be More Kind
Chart (2018) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[36] 19
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[37] 87
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[38] 12
Irish Albums (IRMA)[39] 55
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[40] 8
Scottish Albums (OCC)[41] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 25
UK Albums (OCC)[43] 3
US Billboard 200[44] 95
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[45] 5
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard)[46] 21
US Top Album Sales (Billboard)[47] 18
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[48] 8
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[49] 15
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[50] 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frank Turner interview: his new album, festival and why the UK government are "crap"". 10 May 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Frank Turner announces new album Be More Kind". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Frank Turner Releasing New Album 'Positive Songs For Negative People' August 7th". Glide Magazine. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  4. ^ Adams, Gregory (6 October 2015). "Frank Turner Reveals Gigantic 'The First Ten Years' Vinyl Box Set". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  5. ^ Hudson, Alex (10 November 2015). "Frank Turner Maps Out Canadian Winter Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Frank Turner: 'My mum talking about my failings on the big screen is an odd thing to watch'". Upset Magazine. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Frank Turner shares new song 'The Sand In The Gears'". Upset Magazine. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  8. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (16 October 2017). "Frank Turner to rework old songs for new 'Songbook' album". NME. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  9. ^ "FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Home - Frank Turner - Be More Kind". Frank Turner - Be More Kind. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b Slingerland, Calum (29 January 2018). "Frank Turner Announces 'Be More Kind' LP, Unveils North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  12. ^ Bilderback, Cheyenne (29 January 2018). "Frank Turner Releases New Single '1933', Plots New Album". American Songwriter. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  13. ^ Ainscoe, Mike (23 February 2018). "Frank Turner: Be More Kind – new video". Louder Than War. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  14. ^ Munro, Scott (16 March 2018). "Check out Frank Turner's video for new song Blackout". Louder Sound. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  15. ^ Bilderback, Cheyenne (16 March 2018). "Frank Turner Reveals Video For 'Blackout'". American Songwriter. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  16. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (9 April 2018). "Frank Turner takes aim at Trump in 'Make America Great Again' video". NME. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Frank Turner makes some 'Little Changes' on his new song". Upset Magazine. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Frank Turner gets his dancing shoes on in new video for 'Little Changes'". Upset Magazine. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  19. ^ Munro, Scott (23 April 2018). "Frank Turner announces 2019 UK tour". Louder Sound. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  20. ^ "1933". YouTube. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Be More Kind". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Blackout". YouTube. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Make America Great Again". YouTube. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Little Changes". YouTube. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Be More Kind by Frank Turner". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Be More Kind by Frank Turner". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  27. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Be More Kind - Frank Turner". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  28. ^ Winstanley, Luke (14 May 2018). "Frank Turner - Be More Kind". Clash. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  29. ^ Linnell, Harriet (4 May 2018). "Album Review: Frank Turner – Be More Kind". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  30. ^ O'Connor, Roisin; Beech, Dave; Kaplan, Ilana (2 May 2018). "Album reviews: Plan B, Peace, Gaz Coombes, Leon Bridges, Frank Turner, Eleanor Friedberger". The Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  31. ^ Baber, Andy (30 April 2018). "Frank Turner – Be More Kind". musicOMH. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  32. ^ Beaumont, Mark (30 April 2018). "Frank Turner – 'Be More Kind' Review". NME. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  33. ^ "Frank Turner Asks Us to 'Be More Kind'". PopMatters. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  34. ^ Poyner, Nick (8 May 2018). "Frank Turner – Be More Kind (Staff Review)". Punknews.org. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  35. ^ Pearlman, Mischa (27 June 2018). "Frank Turner: Be More Kind (Xtra Mile/Polydor UK/Interscope)". Under the Radar. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  36. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Frank Turner – Be More Kind" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Frank Turner – Be More Kind" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 11 May 2018". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  40. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Frank Turner – Be More Kind". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  43. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  44. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  45. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  47. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  48. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  49. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  50. ^ "Frank Turner Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 October 2020.