Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Reviewed: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

I don’t put a lot of music reviews up on this blog. The chief reason for this is that I write for This Is Fake DIY and a decent proportion of the music that I’d like to write about here comes from them. And whilst I don’t believe that DIY hold the copyright to what I write I believe that it is only fair that seeing as they’re supplying me with the music then anything that comes from it they deserve the to have on their site, and to be linked to

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand however is a record that I’ve shelled out for and therefore see no qualms with putting up my own track by track review here.

‘Ulysses’: the big comeback hit. A combination of minimalist rhythms and huge pop choruses. (10/10)

‘Turn It On’: Franz by-numbers. Hardly a bad thing but makes no lasting impression. (6/10)

‘No You Girls’: great chorus and some oddly dual-tracked vocals. Dancefloor filler (7.5/10)

‘Send Him Away’: dreamlike with plinky-plonky keyboards and a Hammond organ. (8/10)

‘Twilight Omens’: retro-futuristic space pop. Album highlight and definite single material. (9/10)

‘Bite Hard’: rock song with an acoustic intro. Carried on the keyboards. Perfect for listening to whilst travelling at speed (7.5/10)

‘What She Came For’: comes across as a bit of a filler track to start off with but features and explosive chorus and a fantastic full-on rock-out of closing section

‘Live Alone’: this one’s a dance song. Galloping drums juxtapose with the dreamlike state of the melody. Fantastic (8/10)

‘Can’t Stop Feeling’: percussion that was apparently played on human bones, has an exotic, almost Vampire Weekend feel to it and a really catchy yet odd sounding melody. Definite single material. (9/10)

‘Lucid Dreams’: a bit different from the version that was released last year. Instead of a brilliant yet conventional pop song this comes across as a Daft Punk style remix. Instead of exploding into the chorus the band implausibly stretch this out to a percussion and synth-heavy eight minutes. Bafflingly brilliant. (8.5/10)

‘Dream Again’: the first of two closing slow songs. This one’s the lullaby with lyrics about oceans and mountainsides. (7.5/10)

‘Katherine Kiss Me’: gentle acoustic closer. After some of the insanity that’s passed, it’s the perfect way to close the record. Tonight’s equivalent of ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’. Would be nice for this to be a single. (8.5/10)

Overall I think it’s a cracking record from one of the UKs best current bands. There’s a couple of tracks worth of filler which is a shame, but this is more than made up for by the bonus disc of dub mixes. This second disc (entitled Blood) is best listened to after you’ve assimilated the album. Particular highlights are the version of ‘Twilight Omens’ (called ‘Backwards On My Face’) and ‘Feel The Pressure’ (a reworking of ‘What She Came For’). There’s a lot of enjoyment in this disc, listening out for where on the album the song segments come from. The most surprising song on the disc is ‘Vaguest of Feelings’ which comes initially from ‘Live Alone’ but in accentuating the keyboard section propels the song to glacial pop territory.

As a package Tonight / Blood is more than just a good album. Rather it demonstrates why Franz Ferdinand are godfathers of modern band-based pop music and how they are kings of all that they survey.


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