Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 26 January 2009
Never seen the appeal of Franz Ferdinand, poncy band name, 6th form/art school lyrics, style over content. Take lead single, Ulysses, are they having a laugh? what's next, a concept album on Le Morte d'Arthur? They've had one good song (their first) which catapulted them to fame, the rest have been, at best, mediocre.

Slowly the record buying public is wising up, I expect this will be around for a couple of weeks before disappearing up its own backside along with other rubbish like Bl*c Pa*ty.

I predict their next album will be an internet only release as no one will want it. Mark my words...
2626 Comments| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 January 2009
This album, despite some critical reception, is absolutely brilliant. Being a Franz Ferdinand fan myself, I had to say I was overly excited about this album. When I first heard it, it really was not what I was expecting. It was really very different, and, dare I say it, slightly disappointing. Nevertheless - don't let that word into your head when thinking of this album! After a few listens, the songs grew so much that the album became addictive. Now what do I think: THIS IS FF's BEST ALBUM. FULL STOP.
44 Comments| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 February 2009
Since the release of their eponymous debut back in 2004, Franz Ferdinand might be seen as something of an oddity amongst the vast majority of their contemporaries. Take for instance the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, The Rakes, The Killers and just about any other band belonging to the new wave/disco genre that dominated the music scene five or six years ago. Each of these bands plus a whole host of others, of which there are far too many too mention, burst onto the scene offering such great promise and excitement, only to return with follow ups of such uninspired banality, it seemed hopeless to expect anyone to serve up a second offering of any genuine worth. Thankfully Franz Ferdinand managed to buck this trend of crashing disappointment by returning with 2005's 'You Could Have it So Much Better', an album charged with such unshakably infectious melodies and perfectly crafted pop songs, that many of the already lacklustre records being released at the time were rendered about as exciting as a mild bout of tinnitus. Anyway, having failed to disappoint us yet, Franz Ferdinand are back with their third album, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand'. With four years having passed since their previous outing, anticipation and expectation was always going to be high. Would they be able to deliver for a third time running? The answer is a resounding YES. Furthermore, this could well be their best record to date. The band combines their obvious disco-pop sensibilities with a newfound electronic element, creating a somewhat fuller texture that has not always evident in their previous albums. The most obvious example of this has to be `Lucid Dreams'. Arguably the defining highlight of 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand', the song builds from a typically catchy verse into an enormous, synth-laden chorus, concluding with, an admittedly slightly drawn out, four minute long electro freak-out with the omission of guitars altogether. Other definite highlights include current single `Ulysses', a track that offers the melodic facets that dominated their debut, whilst clearly showing off their recent penchant for dirty synth hooks. `Turn it On' and `No You Girls' are instant crowd-pleasers, each with the potential for future singles. `Can't Stop Feeling' also deserves a mention, serving as perfect indicator as to how far they have come over the past four years, the track being driven by a stomping synth riff as the guitars, once again are put to one side. While critics of the band might argue that there isn't quite enough experimentation or risk taking on offer here to attract many new fans, they certainly aren't at risk of losing any. Ultimately, this is the sound of a band genuinely enjoying themselves in the studio, which is something that translates with absolute clarity. With a third, refreshingly strident album now under their belt, one can only hope that Franz Ferdinand will be able to maintain the same high standards on their fourth outing, and on this evidence, they should have no trouble in doing so.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2009
We experience music differently these days. Songs are first heard coming from speakers, tinny ones designed not to reproduce the full spectrum dominance of sound, but an approximatation, an imitation of sound, tiny white ear buds of computers. After weeks of hearing "Ulysses", the albums premiere single and starting track, from televisions and sandwich shop radios, it made a pleasant surprise to be struck with the warm and rich sound of the production.

Unlike many people, Franz Ferdinand seem to value sonic clarity over volume dominance. And whilst "Tonight" is loud, it's only loud in the right places. "Ulyssess", like most of the rest of album, is dripping in melodies, choruses, effective and interesting rhythms (that never bore), and the opening triumvate (including "Turn It On" and "No You Girls"), may make you think that the band have evolved barely since 2004, the next one, "Send Him Away" shifts gears with a semi-reggae set of drum rolls, a high end bass, and angular guitar that sounds like a somewhat angry, stuttering "White Man In Hammersmith Palais". Add to this the delibrately dated - and one would therefire say classic, timeless keyboard sounds reminiscent of late era Abba in "Twilight Omens", and you have something that sounds very much like Franz Ferdinand, Jim, but not as you know it.

Three and a half years is a long time in pop music. In three and a half years, The Beatles went from "Love Me Do" to "Marharashi's Chanting Family" (or whatever it was called), and Radiohead went from "Pablo Honey" to "OK Computer". Franz haven't quite moved that far, but it's definitely a step beyond what they did before, an evolution, still memorable at the first listen ("What She Came For" is unforgettable), shifting tempos and styles betyween songs and inside songs in a way that is both fluid, natural, and surprising : "Live Alone" sounds like Blondie, Kraftwerk, Human League, whilst also sounding very 2009. The sound is classic, timely yet timeless, lyrically it is minimal, vague, and economical : about nothing, something, and anything at the same time. In some ways, the words allow you to project onto the songs whatever you want them to mean : but also quite clear. That's the beauty of language, and Franz are literate and have the benefit of historical awareness, from their name down.

"Lucid Dreams" is probably the album stand out, as it progresses as a strong, weighty track, before moving to the left with an instrumental jam reminiscent of Electronic's latter-period that is like a modern day version of the type of acid/techno/house buildups and breakdowns, albeit played on 'traditional instruments'. With this as the final full on band song, the closing two songs - "Dream Again" and "Katherine Kiss Me", are understated, gentle explorations that hint at the type of future that Franz Ferdinand could have, plucking out heartfelt moments with power. That said, "Tonight" is no radical reinvention nor a tired retread of the past, but the next step on an interesting journey.

The Special Edition has 40 minutes of remixes : most of which are recognisably Franz and avoid the usual feeling of modern remixes where a brief fragment of the original is shoe-horned in clumsily ; these are interesting and worthy reinterpretations you will be returning to a few times.

For now, and maybe forever, Franz Ferdinand will never seemingly produce an album that rips away the artifice of civilisation, and repression, to expose the raw heart and hurt of emotion.. but they are getting there and the point of the journey is not to arrive, after all.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 January 2009
Franz Ferdinand are a band. Let's get that nice and sparkling clear, shall we? And, as such, bands make music. Sometimes they make a little music, sometimes they make a lot but they always can be counted on to know where exactly they came from. Now imagine, expanding on Armando Iannucci's analogy about how we indulge the creative members of our society, that Franz Ferdinand were butchers. Okay, so they turned up, all neatly dressed and hygienic, in 2004 and they did indeed chop some good meat. They filleted, they minced and they quite possibly even boned a little. And we all saw what they had done and we were pleased. The following year, they saw fit to make sausages and even showed us how to spatchcock a game bird or two. Well done, the Franz!

Now, after a long-deserved break, they return in 2009 - the year of the Ox - and suddenly Franz Ferdinand have gone cannibal on us. Gone are the carefree days of the Slap Rump or a generous bit of Top Bone action, now they want to eat you, body and soul. Something dark happened while they were away and now they want your blood. You can hear the pulsating jugular beat in opening track "Ulysses" and then pretty much everywhere else on the album. Flesh tears, tendons snap and bones are stripped clean as we descend into the Danza Macabra, the Zombie Jamboree. And finally (not including the superb Erol Alkan remix of "Do You Want To"), Franz are leading the charge back onto the dancefloors, where all good Pop music belongs.

Franz Ferdinand have never been a dark band, musically or otherwise, but this sees them finally shake off the formulaic "Mr Soft as performed by the Fire Engines" vibe that their previous two albums were mired in. Add to that the fact that Alex Kapranos, while clearly better dressed than 99% of his peers, is old enough to know better and so is possessed with the classier brand of Pop nous that age brings, and we could be looking at a band that will actually stand the test of time. They say you get the heroes you deserve and, in the same month that the NME somewhat pathetically pits a crass anachronism like Noel Gallagher up against Barack Obama as Hero of 2008, God only knows that we need some new ones.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 January 2009
This new album, long awaited after a long absence from actively pursuing the music scene by Franz Ferdinand. It's more mature and experimental, and although it has been slated by some people, I feel that this is because these people had typecast FF as jaunty-whimsical one trick ponies, capable only of releasing music along the lines of their first two albums, and because this is different, it shocked and disappointed these people, who perhaps did not give it a fair listen for this reason. I listened to it objectively, although with anticipation, as a fan of FF since the beginning. I have gone into a few stand-out tracks below in further detail. There are no songs I would skip over on this album though, and I recommend it, although I'd recommend you get the 2 disc special edition; I wish I had!!

Ulysses opens the album with a very different sound compared to what we're used to from Franz Ferdinand. It's got elements of classic FF with the chorus, but the overall instrumental sounds like something you'd hear in a chic bar; slow with a steady, defined beat.

Twilight Omens is another slow track, but with more instrumentals to pad out the steady overall rhythm than we had heard on Ulysses. Much as before, it's classic FF with a more mature twist. There are some silly and amusing lyrics here, which reminds us it IS definitely FF; the references to puerile activities involving a calculator certainly made me smile.

No You Girls is a very cool and a livelier track than the first two and sounds more like FF of old than what we've heard from this album so far. The guitar mid-section really, really went right back to early FF and I loved it.

Live Alone is the most catchy track so far, very remeniscent of early FF with a funky bassline and easy to sing-along-to vocals with a very commercially viable sound (possible future single release?) and an electronic addition. Certainly a personal favourite track.

Lucid Dreams is the most out-there, different from the usual FF track on this album, with some warping and distortion on certain parts of the instrumentals but still sounding coherent, accessible and appealing to fans of the band.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 August 2009
Don't be put off by some of the reviews - this is still a predominately guitar/bass/drums based album!! With a smattering of keyboards on some tracks that in my view only enhance the songs and add an extra dimension. This 3rd album still captures FF's distinctive, seductive style - most of the album still has the 'big' sound, infectious beat and 'anthemic' quality of other FF classics - the first 9 tracks especially, particularly 'No You Girls', 'Bite Hard' and 'What She Came For'. 'Send Him Away' is beautifully melodic. The last 3 tracks are slower but are a nice contrast to the others and enable the listener to 'wind down'. Unlike the first album, this album did take me a few listens for me to get into it but once I did I was completely hooked. There is so much going on in each song and I agree with one reviewer here that it is only after a few listens that the greatness of the songs are revealed and you really appreciate them and find you can't get them out of your head! I'm not a die-hard Franz Ferdinand fan by any means and would say if I thought this album was 'lacking' but there isn't one track on this album that I would skip over. I love it!! I look forward to their fourth 'offering'. If you really love the FF sound/style you'll love this even if it takes 2 or 3 listens.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 January 2009
Just received this product today, four days ahead of its release date. Don't ask me how I managed to do this since, honestly, I'm as surprised as anyone. The album is great which all fans will know from listening to the leak a week ago. The documentary is just as good. We get to see the Franz tell the story of how the album was recorded and where it all happened. It's just over 40 minutes and looks as good as the album sounds. The book contains the lyrics and the CDs are contained inside the pages.

I havn't had a chance to listen to the vinyls yet but I'm sure they will sound as good, or even better, than the CD. The box itself feels genuin and closes and opens nicely. The only negative thing I can mention is the packing of the vinyls which feels a bit out of tune with the rest of the box.

For sure a great product and a must to get for all you Fanz.
11 Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 January 2009
It is often said that the success of a group lies with the strength of its second album. Many never make it past this landmark. Well FF have now released their third. Surprisingly it's been four years since the last one "You Could Have It So Much Better."

The band has been accused in some quarters of being samey on their new release, but I have to say Tonight is a grower. On the first few listens I wasn't at all sure about the direction it was taken. But on further listens, that is part of its charm. The idea of progression-no progression is illustrated by the opening track and single Ulysses which at first seems to sound more of an amalgam of Blur and Scissor Sisters but on closer examination is firmly in the Franz Ferdinand camp.

There is a similar kind of feel to Turn It On and that's the hard edge songs gone. It's almost as if the album goes through a number of re-incarnations with "Twilight Omens," "Bite Hard" and "What She Came For" firmly entrenched in the FF past. Just when you are coming to terms with this the album veers off for an almost folky finale that includes the almost psychedelic Lucid Dream and the acoustic Katherine Kiss Me.

So it's quite difficult to sum this album up. Some of the same (yes), some changes (yes) but four years is a long time to wait for an album that will re-establish the band without re-inventing them. The fourth album could be even more difficult to assess.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 March 2018
Best ever
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)