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'Be More Kind' review: Frank Turner offers politlcal indie-rock

Frank Turner's "Be More Good" on Xtra Mile/Interscope

Frank Turner's "Be More Good" on Xtra Mile/Interscope Records. Credit: Xtra Mile/Interscope Records

FRANK TURNER

"Be More Kind"

BOTTOM LINE A political indie-rock album that advocates for finding common ground.

Frank Turner takes an unusual stance on his new album “Be More Kind” (Xtra Mile/Interscope), a return to more political themes for the British indie-rocker.

He proclaims that he doesn’t have all the answers. In fact, he makes that a selling point.

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he declares in the in-this-together singalong “Don’t Worry.” “No one has a clue.” In the searing punk rocker “1933,” he goes a step further, barking, “Stop asking musicians what they think,” before discussing the similarities between today’s wild political climate and the one before World War II.

Turner offers mostly vegetables to political bases hungry for red meat. He preaches understanding and cautions against easy solutions. To his credit, these songs work because he captures the uncertainty and the bewildered feeling that comes with trying to keep up with the news and wraps it in gentle optimism and catchy rock hooks. (Yes, even “Make America Great Again” has a good groove, while his prescription is “Let’s make America great again by making racists ashamed again.”)

As political anthems go, the sweet Sheeran-esque “Be More Kind” might be the most usable advice.

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