The New Classics

January 25, 2009

Album Review: Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Filed under: Album Review, Indie Rock — Tags: , — Greg @ 4:58 pm

01.24.09

Franz Ferdinand, Tonight
It’s been about 5 years now since Franz Ferdinand burst into the mainstream with their fist pumping, foot stomping anthem ‘Take Me Out’, but since then they haven’t gotten too much farther. A few hit-or-miss singles, and a sophomore album that was completely forgettable. But on Tonight, the group manages to take the best elements of their previous work, and spin it into their finest album to date.

Opening track, and lead single ‘Ulysses‘ is a slick midtempo tune with a late night drug pusher in a seedy hotel aesthetic to it (C’mon let’s get high, Alex Kapranos persuadingly sings). Following is ‘Turn It On’, which could just as easily work as a followup single for the album. It has a dancy bassline and crunchy guitars to achieve a more upbeat effect, where the group is usually at it’s best. This is probably why that is where most of the songs on Tonight end up: ‘No You Girls’, ‘Bite Hard’, and ‘What She Came For’ are all lively and danceable, while ‘Live Alone’ and ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ both seem to borrow generously from disco styles of the ’70s. I have no complaints with any of those songs, as they all are a blast to listen to, and become even more enjoyable with each play.

‘Lucid Dreams’ is Franz Ferdinand’s near-eight minute long opus of the album, almost a medley of every style of music that the group has ever played. At around 3:30, the whole song breaks down into an entirely instrumental track, with crackling & spacey synthisizers, and walloping drum machines for a full-on new wave attack. ‘Lucid Dreams’ is one of their greatest pieces of music, second only to the still-impressive ‘Take Me Out’.

The final two songs on the LP are much slower than the preceding songs. Like a good workout, you always need a cooldown exercise to bring your heartrate down at a normal rate, and ‘Dream Again’, and ‘Katherine Kiss Me’ fill that purpose. ‘Dream Again’ is elegantly designed to give the listener the actual feeling of dreaming, while ‘Katherine Kiss Me’ is an acoustic, folky ballad that is actually an interesting new direction for Franz Ferdinand, one that I don’t believe we’ve heard before.

Prior to this record, Franz Ferdinand never really has strayed too far from their now-familiar type of sound, but they’ve just about gotten it all perfected with Tonight.

Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Artist: Franz Ferdinand
Label: Domino Records
Highlights: ‘Ulysses‘, ‘Turn It On’, ‘No You Girls’, ‘Twilight Omens’, ‘Lucid Dreams’
Rating: 8.5

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4 Comments »

  1. […] Album, week of 01.16.09-01.25.09 •Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand – […]

    Pingback by Best Music for the week of 01.16.09-01.25.09 « The New Classics — January 25, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  2. I’ve been listening to “Tonight” this weekend. I”m so glad it doesn’t sound like the prior albums! I definitely agree with your review though the last two ballads didn’t really do much for me. Cheers for that!

    Comment by dianabgoode — January 25, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  3. Yeah, the problem with the last two songs is that for ten tracks the album moves at such a fast pace, and then kind of comes to a halt unexpectedly, instead of being evenly paced. Good songs, but oddly positioned.

    Comment by gM — January 25, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  4. […] No You Girls Artist: Franz Ferdinand Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand Label: Domino Records Notes: 2nd single from LP Analysis: ‘No You Girls’ is a video […]

    Pingback by Music Video: Franz Ferdinand, No You Girls « The New Classics — March 15, 2009 @ 12:07 pm


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