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Frank Turner – “Josephine” (video) (Singles Going Steady)

Bookending a track with "whoah-oh-ohh-ohh"s is the rock equivalent of canned laughter, a hack move nudging the audience for a response.

Paul Duffus: If the Gaslight Anthem are your idea of rock and roll heaven, then this will set your fedora awhirl. “Josephine” is propped up by all kinds of naff cliches that were already worn bare when the Killers tried them on a decade ago, not to mention horrible lyrics a pretentious 12-year-old would cringe at (“I’m Napoleon on Elba / And you’re a hundred days in 1815”) and nasty production about as pleasing as rubbing ground-up glass into your ears. Bookending a track with “whoah-oh-ohh-ohh”s is the rock equivalent of canned laughter, a hack move nudging the audience for a response, an audience which in 2015 should know better. At least the video, in which Turner gets covered in diarrhea, is conceptually perfect in the sense that the central image is fairly analogous to the experience of listening to the song. [3/10]

Ed Whitelock: Frank Turner’s lyrics and physical delivery remind me a good deal of Tim Booth from James. Very different vocal qualities, of course, but they share an impishness that is infectious. [7/10]

John Garratt: The edge was sanded off of mainstream pop years ago. This song makes clear two truths: 1) we’re all just kind of lazily playing out the string these days and 2) having a naked woman in your video guarantees close to 30,000 views in just two days. [3/10]

Dustin Ragucos: Woman in a symbiote suit? Hard drumming? Tattooed knuckles? I was waiting for some heavy metal, but all I got was a bland Frank Turner song. What’s that? Another reference to a car crash? Nothing to really see, people, unless you like plain rock. Move along. [3/10]

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