A record like this is exactly what we need in 2018. The English singer/songwriter Frank Turner has delivered that record with Be More Kind.
Be More Kind kicks off with “Don’t Worry” – a definitive, emotional pop hit with an uplifting message. The general vibe of the track is perfect for describing how the record sounds. An aggressive political punk hit follows in “1933.” I use the word aggressive because it’s a quality that Rise Against lacked through their Wolves release. It’s one of my favorite punk hits in the Trump-era, and I’m very surprised that didn’t come out of political records from Green Day or Anti-Flag. “Outside it’s 1933 so I’m hitting the bar,” Turner shouts in the pre-chorus.
An immediate tempo change in “Little Changes” is to follow, then the title track “Be More Kind” hits. Both are very positive, uplifting tracks that are just cute in texture. Frank Turner begs, “they’ve started raising walls around the world now… there’s something wrong with that.” and “be more kind, my friends. Try to be more kind.”
In direct aim at United States President Donald Trump and his supporters, the Englishman fires away in “Make America Great Again,” with a chorus as addictive as ever: “let’s make America great again, by making racists ashamed again.” Turner’s video for the song was an emotional, positive clip that he filmed at SXSW this past year.
“Brave Face” is a political punk love song about the current state of the world and getting through this. Its’ jazzy, oldies beat is addictive and emotional, much like most of this record.
Much of this record is impressive, though the ladder half lacks a lot of the pleasant qualities the first half offers. This album also includes some of my favorite political hits like “1933,” “MAGA,” and “21st Century Survival Blues,” and others, which took me by surprise. In a world full of negativity that’s so hard to stay away from, Frank Turner’s positive, happy-go-lucky tracks are exactly what this world needed. You can see it in many of the lyrics throughout the entire record. There isn’t a single bad song on this album. Be More Kind is a solid take in 2018. I’m impressed.