Though they draw on the past, they do so wisely, injecting voguish angular 80s synth-pop with old-fashioned heart and soul. Their debut embraces the experimental, featuring time-signature changes and mid-song tempo drops, yet its solidity prevents it from consignment to the gratuitously quirky bin. If you feel that the Rapture lack a sense of drama and Interpol lack joy and energy, then Franz Ferdinand are the boys for you. Their stated ambition is to erase the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from the annals of history and replace him in the collective consciousness with themselves. Archduke who? --Paul Eisinger
And yes, this is a very good debut. Like all great music, it's influenced by the past but not in thrall to it, mixing past sounds to find a spin of its own. And, with Franz Ferdinand, it is the pop edge to the music that sets it apart from Hot, Hot Heat, Radio 4 etc.
For the first five songs, the album's practically flawless. "Jacqueline" is brilliant, catchy, anthemic and with a great slogan in the chorus. "Tell Her Tonight" is a great little song, the kind of thing which doesn't stand out from the rest but fits in nicely and complements the album - the musical equivalent of your friend who doesn't really say much but you know your entire group of mates wouldn't be the same without them.
"Take Me Out" everyone knows about but still sounds great, especially in the way that it seems to directly mock the Strokes and other bands of the garage revival by spending a minute playing the song how they would play it and then exploding it into something else entirely. "Dark Of The Matinee" is my favourite (and rumoured to be the next single), from it's great (almost classic rock) riff to its incredibly boucy, 2tone-esque chorus of escapism, to great lines such as "I time every journey to bump into you, accidentally". "Auf Achse" is a great moment of keyboard-led pop, moving yet somehow cold and sinister.
After that, there is a slight dip. "Cheating On You" is okay but not up to the previous standard while you start to wonder whether anyone would ever have noticed if "This Fire" didn't exist (and, if so, whether they'd be upset about the fact). It's not that "This Fire" is bad, so much as unremarkable, especially within this setting.
Fortunately, just when you are starting to despair the album springs to life with the catchy punk-pop of "Darts Of Pleasure" and album standout "Michael" which somehow manages to be dance, rock and pop simultaneously with a lyric of brilliant ambiguity.
The final two tracks on the album "Come On Home" and "40 '" are, to be honest, good album tracks but far from out-standing.
Essentially, whilst this album has its flaws, it fully deserves the five-star review for being an incredibly ambitious and exiciting album where any flaws tend to come from taking too many risks rather than not enough. Rather, like The Coral's debut, in that respect (although the two sound in no way similar)
Unfortunately (at least at present), the latter band have so far failed to live up to the promise of their debut and currently seem to be doomed to repeat their debut album, each time less risky, each time not quite as good.
Time will always tell, but one hopes Franz Ferdinand will not suffer the same fate.
But why is it so great? Well, theres certainly enough content to keep you occupied, and for anyone who isn't into Franz, hopefully this will change their minds. For anyone who is a fan, this is heaven. All the classic Franz tunes, plus b-sides and a handful of the songs from the new album as well. I hadn't heard all the b-sides before, but now 'Shopping For Blood' is my favourite Franz song!! All this plus you can stare longingly at the very gorgeous Alex Kapranos for hours on end!! I agree with the other reviewer that the karaoke videos are disappointing, it would be better to actually have the proper video instead of random footage, but seeing as I don't really plan on doing any karaoke, this doesn't put me off.
I highly recommend this to anyone, Franz fan or not. This certainly shows how a music DVD should be done!!
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions