When Frank Turner quit the U.K. hardcore band Million Dead in 2005 and launched his solo career, he was so wary of being saddled with the dreaded "singer-songwriter" title that he told everybody that he was a folk singer. England Keep My Bones, his fourth album, finds him inching closer to fulfilling that description, yet he remains a punk individualist at heart, hollering songs of personal philosophy and recounting his rock 'n' roll adventures from his seemingly never-ending life on the road. (He recently played his thousandth live gig.)
Ironically, England Keep My Bones is least convincing when Turner ventures into traditional folk terrain, with the self-penned "new traditional" number "English Curse" coming off an ersatz and awkward exercise; he is far better when more personal, as on the self-searching "Redemption" and plangent "Peggy Sang The Blues," a tribute to his late grandmother. Even this is topped by the final track, the rousing "atheist gospel" sing-a-long Glory Hallelujah, which boasts a chorus of "There is no God! So clap your hands together!" and confirms that, like all good punks, Frank Turner remains a determined agent provocateur.