It’s been four years (and counting) since the last Franz Ferdinand record. You Could Have it So Much Better was a lot darker than our usual indie-pop favourites, bringing a whole new side to the Scottish lads we were just getting to know.
Now with their third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand we start to see a more dance friendly, as well as incorporating a 1970s funk dance feel with a blend of post-punk nu wave.
Opening with Ulysses the album opens to a quiet and somewhat ominous start. Building up slowly, it feels as though the album is the story of a cheeky night out on the town. Tonight promises just that, as it takes you on a journey. Imagine yourself hopping from club to club, meeting mysterious strangers, walking dark streets and getting up to general mischief, then this is going to be the soundtrack to your night.
Ulysses introduces us to their altered sound, while also encouraging a slight dance funk that you’ll find features predominantly throughout the record. With whisperings of drug references, and generally non-sensical lyrics, you’ll find yourself humming along to the chorus of this song without even meaning to. Slight introductions of the synth, beginning with this song and throughout the album, definitely encourage dancing and singing.
Turn it On seems to be the kind of broken-hearted ballad with the added technique genius from the Franz boys, their infamous catchy melodies and simple yet oddly addictive drumbeats. While the lyrics contain some sad situation, the general vibe from the song is quite a mischievous sexy affair that will definitely catch the ears of radio listeners.
Every boy has been through times where they’ve felt tormented and deprived of attention by that of the opposite gender, and No You Girls, is the anthem for this exact emotion. The song also takes an interesting turn after it includes opinions from the otherside giving the song a great balance. Along with the lyrical balance, the boys have followed up with their usual affair of clever yet simple drums, easy beat, stacatto lyrics and the usual guitar lick that stays in your mind for days.
In an obvious attempt to stray away from their usual format, Twilight Omens features a heavy synth accent during the opening few bars, incorporating a usual pop song format (verse, verse, chorus, bridge, verse) while also putting their post-punk spin on these two conventions. Twilight Omens is one of the highlights on this album, kudos to the boys for stretching out and endeavouring to try new aspects of music.
The one qualm I have with this album is the fact that while every song on its own is fantastic, when they’re compiled in order, they all seem to follow a rather similar formula. Each song seems to follow a pattern of an interesting yet uncomplicated drumbeat, followed by the bass mimicking the drumbeat. After the bass introduction, the voice will start interjected with a quirky yet catchy melodic guitar, keyboard or synth melody line.
For a third attempt, the album definitely stands out in their array of work. Their first album being a stellar debut into the music world, the sophomore album sitting firmly in the middle as a good passing-note to their third album. The third album can feel a certain degree of effort and producing, with each song being equally as catchy and impressive in coordination with their style. The only let down being the formulaic pattern they follow.
Standout Tracks: Bite Hard, Ulysses, Twilight Omens
Rating: 3/5 stars