Frank Turner, "Love Ire & Song"
Frank Turner, who previously fronted U.K. punk band Million Dead, found his calling as a singer/songwriter after exposure to the music of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. On his second album, "Love Ire & Song" (originally issued in 2008 in England), Turner's charisma billows forth with his whip-smart lyricism and gripping arrangments. Highlights on the set include "Photosynthesis," a Pogues-meets-Mekons ditty about refusing to grow up, and "To Take You Home," a traveling troubadour narrative that features mandolins and acoustic guitars worthy of English folk-rock band Fiarport Convention. Halfway through the album, "Imperfect Tense" provides a punk/power-pop diversion. Every tune is memorable on "Love Ire & Song," from lyrical and melodic hooks to Turner's passionate tenor. And it's not difficult to imagine a huge crowd singing along with the artist. Note the strategic omission of commas in the punning title, then say it aloud: Love our song. Get it? --Fred Mills