on 13 February 2004
Ok, it's difficult to keep control amongst the hype but I'm going to try to do just that. Yes, the emergence of Franz Ferdinand is extremely exciting - in fact, I've not been this enthusiastic about the emergence of any band in the last five years (with the possible exception of The Coral).
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.
on 10 February 2004
I have just listened to the album for the first time in the last half an hour. I was very impressed. I loved "Take Me Out" and "Darts Of Pleasure" when I saw them on the music channels, but with all the hype, it was obviously going to be hard for Franz Ferdinand to meet expectations. They have met mine. There are a few weak tracks, (I didn't particularly like "Tell Her Tonight") and the lyrics could do with some work, (although I have only just heard it once, it may grow on me). The best track apart from the two singles, I would say is Matinee. It has the same sort of catchiness of Take Me Out, with a more complex tune.
PS. I would like to ask people not to review albums they haven't even heard, as the two bad reviewees obviously haven't. If you don't like the singles, don't tell us you hate the albums. Nobody likes everything, and we don't need people putting up unhelpful reviews. If you have bought (and listened to it) the album, and don't like it, then review it by all means.
on 19 August 2004
This is truly the best album of this year, and perhaps the best of the new milennium. All the songs have their good points, and unlike on most albums, there are no songs that are just there to fill in time. Jacqueline is a good start - the slow opening developing into a fast-paced foot-tapper. Tell Her Tonight, is, for me, the one disappoinment, I find the vocals irritating. Take Me Out, however, instantly makes up for it and how, with the dramatic slowing down after the intro, and the riff is fantastic. Dark of the Matinee has a very catchy chorus, and is a superb single. Auf Achse is much slower and has less guitar, which is probably a good thing after the previous two songs. Cheating on You has good guitar, and some interesting lyrics. Then the pace picks up again with This Fire, but the album hits another peak with the next two songs. Darts of Pleasure is one of those that you can't get out of your head, not that that's a bad thing, and has some excellent lyrics. But the next song, Michael, is the best lyrically on the album, and probably musically as well, a real eye-opener, and a single that won't do as well as it should do. The last two songs drop the pace again, but Come on Home has a nice melody, while 40 Feet is a nice way to end the album.
Overall, my only criticisms would be that Tell Her Tonight is annoying, and that the album is too short - it could do with another ten minutes onto the 38 it has. But this is the best album I have bought for some years, and I am eagerly awaiting their next offering.
on 27 February 2004
The hype surrounding Franz Ferdinand has clearly made a few people want to hate this album before listening to it. To me these are people who are desperate to show off their 'cool' credentials by disliking anything that's vaguely popular - a stance that is just as sad as liking things just because they're fashionable.
I don't read the NME or listen to XFM but I saw FF on Jools Holland a few months back and knew then that I had to get this album as soon as it came out. Sad to say, I thought it was just me who liked them!
As others have pointed out, each song on the album sounds a bit like someone else, but exactly the same can be said for most bands since about 1982. What FF do have is the ability to combine fantastic riffs with catchy but original tunes, while still writing intelligent lyrics and having an edge of darkness. It really does hark back to the late '70s/early '80s which, for me, was a golden era of pop - a time when artists such as Bowie, Blondie, The Specials, Talking Heads etc. etc. could receive both commercial and critical acclaim.
This album doesn't contain a duff track, so I won't bother listing which ones I like better than others. All I will say is that it managed to exceed my expectations, which were very high after hearing the two singles. In fact it's easily the best album I've heard from the last 10 years.
During the techno era, guitar-based music was in such a dire state that I went through the entire 1990s without buying a contemporary album. Thankfully bands such as The White Stripes, The Strokes and now Franz Ferdinand are now turning that round - hopefully another golden age of guitar-based pop/rock is upon us!
on 16 February 2006
Having been a huge fan of Franz Ferdiand for a while, I was thrilled when I heard they'd be releasing a live DVD, and this is even better than I could ever have imagined. The first disc is highlights from various gigs, and a tour documentary. The second disc is two whole gigs. Wow! Its the only DVD you'll ever need.
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!!
on 5 January 2005
I believe this is the band to save us (and the music industry) from falling asleep with the same old boring pop. I first heard of Franz Ferdinand at the beginning of 2004 with their hits Take Me Out and Matinee, needless to say I was impressed. I wanted to get the album but thought of it as a gamble as they might only have released the best songs on the album, but as soon as I heard the first track on the album (Jaqueline) I knew that Franz Ferdinand were something else. My expectation levels grew song by song and time after time I was satisfied and was proven wrong about my thoughts of 'might be one hit wonders'. Not one song on the album is wasted, they are all great but if not at first the tracks (namely Tell Her Tonight) will grow on you. The album sounds like something out of the early 80's which makes great listening to anyone of any age. The sound of Franz Ferdinand's debut album is refreshing and has given hope to the music industry that not all bands are the same old boring plastic pop (Busted and McFly especially). All of Franz released songs are excellent but unreleased Jaqueline and 40 Feet have got to be listened to. The self entitled album is one of the few that can be listened to and enjoyed the whole way through. What annoys me is the dismissive comments about Franz Ferdinand when most of the people making these comments have never listened to the album. I have managed to change some of these peoples minds and they have begun to like Franz so that shows that they aren't too bad after all. Franz Ferdinand aren't boring art freaks but even if they are were there is no way that, by proof of the album, they don't make great listening. Clever lyrics, great beats and quirky rythms make the album what it is. Thanks to the music style, fashion and Alex Kapranos' vocals, that make this band the most recognisable anywhere. Even as type this review I listen to this album which once it has a grip of you won't let you go. No wonder Franz Ferdinand's debut album has been a hit both sides of the Atlantic.
Look out for these guys in the future, they look set to get bigger again and let's hope their second album is just as good later this year.
Thank God for Franz Ferdinand!!!
on 2 August 2004
This may not be helpful, Iâ€™m only 16, but I feel everyone has to know how great this album is.
The majority of this album lives up to all the hype and expectations that surrounded its release. The only tracks that disappointed me was "This Fire" and "40 Ft". "This Fire" is one that I think is more of an overall disappointment, it just does not live up to the standards of the other songs, though I do have the pleasure of saying that you can enjoy it a lot more when seeing it performed live. "4O Ft" is more a personal let down as I felt it was a poor way to end the album. Although I felt those tracks were a let down, the other tracks more than make up for it.
"Jacqueline" and "Tell Her Tonight" are both great head nodding, feet stomping tracks, a good way to open the album. Following with singles "Take Me Out" and "Dark of the Matinee" both of which everyone knows and loves are definitely amongst the stand out tracks. Slowing things down a little with "Auf Achse" its a good song, and compliments the album, as do "Cheating on You" and "This Fire". "Darts of Pleasure" is another stand out track.
The next track is my personal favourite, first time I heard it I thought its really good, very catchy. Then I was at T in the Park and heard it live, now the only word to describe it is amazing!The story behind the song i heard is it's about their friend who had one gay experience with a guy called "Michael", those lyrics are real and this song is legendary. I don't think it will get the same recognition as "Take Me Out", though it does deserve it. Its truly genius lyrics and a super piece of music.
The next track, "Come On Home" makes me feel very patriotic, just because the fact that these four guys are Scottish, as am I. Its another good song. They end the album with my least favourite song "40 Ft"; it depends on your own personal taste.
This album is "superfantastic" and well worth buying, and if you ever get a chance to see them live, go! Even tracks you may not like sound ten times better, you wonâ€™t be disappointed.
on 30 November 2004
I bought this CD on the basis of listening to the more well known hits such as "Take me Out" and "This Fire". I had also listened to a few extracts on their website, which had all seemed like good tunes.
When i recieved the cd i listened to it once, and then reset it so i could listen all over again. Since then it has become one of my favourite cd's, it's hard to describe what makes it such great music to listen to, but i would definately recommend buying it. Or if you are undecided definately check out the website or search for "Franz Ferdinand" in google, which will give you the chance to listen to breif extracts from the songs.
If you have only heard "Take me Out" or "This Fire" and are worried that the others won't be as good you needn't worry, almost all the others are just as good. Altho "Take me out" is still my favourite track :).
on 2 August 2004
This album is one of the best albums I have ever bought! It has catchy and danceble tunes! Jaqueline is the opener which keeps you on your toes. It starts of slow and then turns into danceable chorus line which really is fantastic! Tell her tonight is OK. It's like a Bowie/Talking Heads/Roxy Music type song. It's not their best. Then... TAKE ME OUT! Unarguabley the best song on the album. This song also changes. It turns into a really catchable tune that makes you want to stommp your feet to the beat! Matinee is a danceable one with a fantastic chorus. Auf Achse is good with a chorus different from the verse. Cheating On You is good also with a catchy guitar riff. This Fire is the baddest one on the album. It's not really bad but compared to ones like Take Me Out and Michael it is. Darts Of Pleasure was the debut single and I can see why. Very good lyrics. Michael is the next single of the album following Matinee in April and Take Me Out in February. You can't beat this song! Weird lyrics but a truly great song! Come On Home is Ok with good verses but a bit of a slow and boring chorus. 40ft is the dark song of the album but very good.
Best songs: Jaqueline, Take Me Out, Matinee, Michael and 40ft.
Worst songs: Tell Her Tonight,Cheating On You and This Fire.
on 5 February 2006
This is a brilliant album. It has such a diverse mix of tracks that there (surely) must be something for everyone.
I love lyrics and thanks Franz for providing them. Listen to it as music first then look at the lyrics. The surpise for me was 'Cheating on you' because the lyrics sound so poignant and sad, yet the song is so upbeat .......... oh you Franz boys, so contrary .....
There isn't a weak track on the album - 'Darts of pleasure' is superb as is 'Auf achse', and 40' (which seems to have taken some stick) is the perfect end track.
If in doubt, get it, listen and be converted. Oh, and the next album is nearly as good .......