Franz Ferdinand – [Album]

Thursday, 05 March 2009

Dear Alex Kapranos,

I hate you. I hate your band, Franz Ferdinand. Your new album, Tonight, has damned me with its catchiness. I’ve removed it from my iPod twice, but that shit keeps magically showing up and I keep listening to it. I can’t stop. If I owned its vinyl this album would have a hole in it. I am going to wear it out. I did something similar with a different band, whose name I won’t mention, and I haven’t listened to their music in two years. Now, friends are picking up that same band’s most recent release and telling me about it, and all I can do is frown and think about better days.

To provide a little context, I’m currently in Paris on a special work/internship program. For the past two weeks, I’ve had Tonight on my iPod and whenever “Twilight Omens” comes on, I always seem to just be arriving at my stop on the metro. What this means, is that every time this song starts, I'm walking through a crowd, looking at all the pretty, French girls and feeling pretty cool about it. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the French aren’t too fond of us English speakers, so the confident keys of the piano combined with a sharp beat makes someone like me not care about any irritated glances I might receive. It’s the kind of song you can listen to while matching the beat with your footsteps, in order to get to your destination faster than you normally would. Also, the fact that Kapranos mentions putting some girl’s number into a calculator only to have it spell a dirty word, reaches a level of genius that makes veins pop in my head.
The end of “Lucid Dreams” damn near brings me to tears every time I hear it. The song itself is a fast journey with a catchy chorus, but then there’s this great drawn out dance of a fading piano with electro sounds competing with a drum machine. It sticks around just long enough for you to want more.
You’ve got your next anthem song to show up in a commercial with, “No You Girls." Complete with an oft repeating chorus that rolls off your lips too easily and a pace that marches you right along into the waters of motivation, it’s bound to be picked up by some brand in the next year or two and slapped on some self-righteous piece of poo of a commercial (á la PSPs “Take Me Out” spot, which was complete with a Busta Rhymes appearance).
The skanky tune of “What She Came For” mixes a wicked baseline with vocals from Kapranos that verge on the edge of frightening. I like it a lot, but maybe I’m a creep.

The group slows things down at the end of the album with two nice tunes. The first being “Dream Again," a slow meandering path that leaves you a little mystified and ready for dead air. But, a ray of hope comes from the acoustic trembling of “Katherine Kiss Me."

Lastly, I realize that “Ulysses” is the first single off this album and while I do think it’s a fine song, I didn’t feel it warranted mentioning over some of the more interesting tracks on the album.
Maybe, I’ve just got this weird relationship with rock albums, but once I find something that I really like from beginning to end, I can’t stop listening to it, unless drastic measures are taken. Or, maybe the fact that the album is loosely based on a night out and the morning after, I can somewhat relate to it more than most. I did survive college once. And, now I’m trying to survive the ill-fated effects of cheap wine.

Sincerely, Foreigner in France


Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is out now. Buy it on Amazon.

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