stripped and undressed: franz ferdinand

Album: Tonight

Artist: Franz Ferdinand

Label: Domino/Epic

 

The hour is almost up on us..er…the day, I mean. The new Franz Ferdinand record is out next Tuesday Stateside. I can’t wait to have to my grubby paws all over it! Cool record cover to begin with, great band on a great label. The question that rests on all of our minds is a simple yet monumentally important one: Pray tell, Billy! Is the record any good? Well, let’s go track by track, shall we?

1. Ulysses 3.11

In a word, sinister. In the bass line and lead synths in the verse give way to what I like “the big chorus payoff” and these guys deliver better than most bands in the last few years. Strong leadoff single, should be a hit among the hipsters and those without two left feet.

2. Turn It On 2.21

Short and sweet. Very reminiscent of something you would have heard off of “You Could Have It So Much Better”. Danceable, accessible, everything you like about Franz in a tidy two minute track. Good album track.

3. No You Girls 3.42

Can you say, disco? I know you can. FF definitely can and the first reminder of the classic first record sneaks its way here. Simply majestic. You will dance to this and this should be a single. An indie dance classic to be sure. This song is for the fellas. I defy you to sit still to this song. It just won’t happen.

4.  Send Him Away 3.00

A nice enough track. Could be a grower but to me, it doesn’t scream out “OH MY GAWD, THIS SONG IS THE PANTS!” It just flows until the 1.39 mark where the song picks up a smidgen. Not a slip-over but not essential either. 

5. Twilight Omens 2.30

I love this song. Love the synth lead. It’s just so melodic and a bit darker than we’re accustomed to hearing from the Franz. Probably not a single but I can definitely see this being a fan favourite.

6. Bite Hard 3.26

Simple. Steady. This one’s a bit of a pastiche from the debut and “YCHISMB”. This one has “live favourite” written all over it. Me likey!

7. What She Came For 3.52

Franz goes all metal on yo’ ass!  What began as a a slick ditty explodes into an all-out shellshock on the senses at the 3.17 mark. They’re loud, they’re absrasive, they’re the new Scottish gentry! Dig it!

8. Live Alone 3.29

Swoon! This is the jam right here. This begins the trio of songs that make this record a must own. This is my personal favourite on the whole record. Begin with the oh-so-naughty bass line. The disco drum pattern and the synths! What seals the deal? The subject matter, for one. Another anthemic one from the Franz. Relationships suck. No they don’t. Maybe it’s better to be alone? Add in the Moroder-esque middle eight and this song is an instant single and just may challenge “Take Me Out” as their signature song.

9. Can’t Stop Feeling 3.03

Another song for those who are rhythmically inclined and another grrreat middle eight. Don’t think about this one. This is one where you close your eyes on the dancefloor and groove. Nuff said.

10. Lucid Dreams 7.56

This is the epic track right here. Start slow, ride a groove and then “the big chorus payoff”! Once the song kicks in, it does not let go but ultimately gives in to Franz experimenting with the breaks. Breaks as in beats for those of you who don’t quite get jiggy wit’ it. It’s hard to describe this song. This is simply one that begs to be craked up to 11 and blow your brains out.

11. Dream Again 3.18

After the onslaught of the previous three songs, we slow it down a bit. This one is very reminiscent of mid-period Blur. Very minimal. It’s a sweet song and a good comedown song when coming home from the discotheque.

12. Katherine Kiss Me 2.56

We end this record with an acoustic little ditty. A simple, plaintive song with Alex crooning. Girls swoon.

The verdict? If you enjoyed the debut and thought the second record was a bit lacking in terms of coherence, consider Tonight a glorious return to form one of the best bands of the new wave resurgence. The record is solid and you will dance. Get it next Tuesday!

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