Top positive review
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Embrace the influences, enjoy the result
on 14 August 2005
Having avoided a lot of the produce from the over-hyped Class of '04 (Keane, I'm looking at you...) I eventually bought this on a word-of-mouth recommendation. Thanks to the friend who convinced me, because otherwise I would have missed a little gem.
Of course it isn't strikingly original, there being nothing new under the sun, and the influences have been well-documented, but Franz Ferdinand mix up driving guitar riffs with 80s pop sounds and occasionally quirky lyrics to great effect, the result sounding fresh and perky. 'Matinee' in particular comes over like a rockier Divine Comedy (no bad thing), while 'Tell Her Tonight' has strong overtones of early Adam and the Ants (ditto).
Basically, if you like the formula that FF are working to, you'll like this whole album, as all the tracks are strong, even if the majority are a little out of the same mould. My first impression was it was too short (38 minutes) but given the similarity between some of the tracks - the chorus in 'Take Me Out' sounds like a reprise of 'Jacqueline' - I think it's wise that it doesn't outstay its welcome, instead keeping its rapid, zippy sparkle and leaving the listener wanting just a little bit more. It's a record that stands up to repeat playing, and I would go so far as to say that, while no American Idiot or even a Hot Fuss, it's definitely one of the Top 5 albums of 2004. If I had to pick a favourite track, I'd say 'This Fire' just shades it.