Sound — 8
Franz Ferdinand has taken past influances such as disco beats, retro guitar work (and on one song "Auf Achse", Depeche Mode-esque keyboard licks) and others; and molded them into their own unique sonic sound that sets them apart from other neo-garage influanced bands such as The White Stripes and The Strokes. During the first half of the album their sound seem to cannot fail but it almost nosedives completely as their riffs and montonic drumbeat (although not as so much as the notorious Meg White of the White Stripes) bores the hell outta the listener (well me in particular)after "Auf Achse."
Lyrics — 6
Alex Kaparnos's only lyrical purpose is to make them burn in your head or in other words make catchy lyrics. Well, it worked! Never before in my life I've spent a day after having an album repeated listen have my mental humming playlist has been invaded by a single band. Now, "That's why we only work when/We need the money" (from "Jaqueline") and the verse of Take Me Out and it's minor alterations will forever be burned in my head. But after I've gotten over all the singing, I've come to realise the meaningless drivvle Kaparnos' has managed to spew out. "Goodbye girl/Because I'm lonely/Goodbye girl/It isn't over" (from "Cheating On You", isn't even catchy! It's just anoying, Alex! But the Alex's vocal talents are astoundingly apropriate. Won't hear the range of Axl Rose or the uniqueness of Eddie Vedder but he manages to "act" his lyrics well as he plays enchanter as he sings "Accidently I/ Charm you and tell you/of the boys I hate /all the girls I hate" (from "The Dark of the Matinee") and plays party instigator on "Jaqueline" (as previously quoted) and plays an other assorted characters just by changing his voice ever so slightly.
Overall Impression — 6
01. Jaqueline: nice opener with a quiet acoustic jam to trick us into the album when in which the bass comes uninvited opening the dam for overwhelming guitar riffs with a pounding drum beat to boot. Nice piece all in its self, serves as great opener. 02. Tell Her Tonight: a nice psychedelic jam with absurd lyrics to match. And that bridge, it's to die for. Can't stand on it's own but make the perfect filler as it's sandwhiched beetween "Jacqueline" and... 03. Take Me Out: the first minute serves as an insult to conventional garage bands with all the monotonic guitar strums and conventional singing but then slows down to a delicious and catchy jam of disco beats and one hell of a guitar riff! Stands on its own perfectly, one for the decade end best of lists! 04. The Dark Of The Matinee: another strong song with a powerful intro/chorus and an appropriate vocal performance by a charming Alex Kaparnos. The thing I'll remeber from this tour the force isn't the intro guitar lick, it's that miniscule riff in the chorus proving that Franz Ferdinand can achieve the crem of simpicity by not relying on sparse instumentation. An appropriate single. 05. Auf Achse: a practice of 80s synth pop without taking you back there perse. A too-prolonged intro make this a boring song at first but if you are able to see past that good for you. This song is golden. 06. Cheating On You 07. This Fire: after a brilliant 5 song tour de force the album slipps down like a dissapointing sophomore album. Both song only seem to serve to bore you with dauting cuts as "Goodbye Girl/cause I'm lonely" and "This fire/is outta control" from both songs respctivly. 08. Darts Of Pleasure: a high in this album with good instumentation and unforgiving british lyrical sensibility, "Words of love and words do leisured/words of poisened darts of pleasure". Brilliant, just brilliant. Although it's not advised to any band to sing "I'm super fantasic/I drink champangne and eat salmon" an orgasmic outro line (the line is english for the sung german lines, "Ich heisse super fanntastishe/Ich trinke champers mit lachsfisch". 09. Michael: just an annoying song in spite of all the hype surrounding this on the count of its redundancy and unimaginative instumentation. Dont get me started on the Suede-wannabe-sexual-androgyny lyrics, "Micheal/You're the only one I've ever want!" 10. Come On Home: just boring, period. 11. 40' A.k.a 40 Feet: inspired plagarism is the theme of this song, with a 50s jazzy movie sountrack feel through out the song is just "an inpired filler". Not a good way to end an album. This album inspite of a dismal score is a must buy! It's something diffrent, some this quirky, and in my book something good! A testament to the scottish bands abillity to take often cliched past influances and making them their own.