Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society

As a reviewer you sometimes come across music that you simply can’t get to grips with however much you try. And sometimes you have to say things that not everyone will like such as below from Stuart Turner’s website:

6th review of the 4th album

Sad to report that we have had our first bad review in years. Not since the second Stuart Turner solo album has anyone gone to the bother of putting in print their qualified dislike of what they heard. Which is four albums and quite a lot of reviews ago. So this came as a surprise, especially as all the other reviews had been both glowing and focussed on how melodic the vocals were relative to earlier, more guttural albums. Maybe we should send the fellow one of those? Anyway, here is what appeared in R2 Magazine (formerly Rock ‘n’ Reel, who had previously refused to review us, so progress of a sort):

“Stuart Turner has a voice that takes some getting used to. At first you think his is a voice that will just take a bit of time to love, like the growl of Tom Waits or the sneering snarl of Lemmy. So I listened to Turner’s explosions and snorts knowing that in time it would all start to fall into place and I’d see how this fusion of English pop and delta blues made sense. It didn’t.

There are great songs on this album which take folk and blues stylings and tie them to some very English melodies: echoes of The Kinks and 60’s psychedelica, and some darker elements of the folk tradition. The playing is spot-on and enlivened by John Whitakers trumpet. It is, however, Turner’s spittle-filled bark that cuts through the unbridled joy of the music and brings it back to earth with a considerable wallop.

There are a couple of interludes provided by James Worse’s Medway-flavoured nonsense poetry: a kind of Kentish Jabberwocky. In many ways these serve merely to highlight the problem I faced with the rest of the album. I am sure Turner’s voice is an acquired delight; but I have failed to acquire it.”

Peter Tomkins, Sept. 2016 edition, R2 Magazine

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