This & That

Michael Jackson, 1958-2009


Franz Ferdinand's Tonight: Franz Ferdinand Reviewed


The Glasgowian greats have done it again with their new album rightfully entitled Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, their 3rd album which follows their 2004 debut self-entitled, Franz Ferdinand, and their 2005 album, You Could Have It So Much Better.

Tonight:Franz Ferdinand, which releases on January 26, 2009, is considered to be ones of those albums to watch out for this year and I must say that Valentine’s came early – thank you cupid! For any Franz fans out there, including myself, this is an album hard not to love.

Tonight… can be described as a well infused departure combining rock, pop and 80’s electronica but still never forgetting their trademark Franz Ferdinand post-punk elements of sexiness, up tempo-ness, charm and perfectly timed pauses and slow-downs. Their last two albums has left the world with a solid Franz Ferdinand impression – an image of stylish, funky rockers who really know how to lay down a fist pounding rock beat while keeping the dance floor alive. They’ve taken some slack for, You Could Have It So Much Better, for sounding like a first album continuation, but after listening to Tonight…, this one proves that they can be creative producers, capable of expanding beyond their comfort zone – not afraid of trying out something different (probably realizing that they will take some criticism for it) and making it work!

The most noticeable inclusion to Tonight… is their creative exploration of the synthesizer and electronica-sounding elements. The 12 track ensemble follows suite to previous albums in terms of tempo, creating the right flow to carry listeners through a great “night-out” listening experience. Alex Kapranos, lead vocals and guitar, has stated that this album is more of a dance album than a rock album, drawing Jamaican and African influences.

Most notable songs that stand out is Ulysses, a great introduction to the album with a taste of their new techno-synth which I’m sure will go down in history as a song worth singing under the category: Songs That Includes The Words “.. let’s get high”. Bite Hard, found halfway through the album begins as a Kaprano ballad and quickly turning into a fun-hopin’ bumpin’ beat reminiscent of classic indie-Franz. (It’s also a song I heard them open with when they played in Vancouver… magnificent!). Lucid Dreams, probably the most pleasantly surprising track, a near eight minute song that breaks into an over three minute electronic homage that simply blew me away – showing a wide talent range. (This would make a great live finale song – watching them escape from their conventional guitars to an electric jam!). After listening to Lucid Dreams I developed a whole new level of respect for this band as musicians, leaving me in hopes that their next album will include this electronica rhythm as their over-arching theme. Reminding me of their well known, Eleanor, the album ends of withKatherine Kiss Me, a soft “lul-alling” tune , featuring Kapranos and an acoustic, which to me, is reminiscent of their Scottish roots, most noticeable by its tongue-loosening lyrics.

The rest of the album sounds perfectly smooth creating good pace from one track to another, proving that they can work within their familiar roots and dabble and experiment with new sounds, the blues, Jamaican and African influences, and 80’s techno. Enlightened by the cover art’s likeness to a crime scene photograph, the album’s sound lives up to the title, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, easily convincing you and the fans that its time to go out and party tonight with Franz Ferdinand – creating a night of exploratory debauchery.

Franz Ferdinand, formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002 is comprised of Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals).

Track Listing

“Ulysses” – 3:13
“Turn It On” – 2:23
“No You Girls” – 3:44
“Send Him Away” – 3:01
“Twilight Omens” – 2:32
“Bite Hard” – 3:31
“What She Came For” – 3:28
“Live Alone” – 3:36
“Can’t Stop Feeling” – 3:05
“Lucid Dreams” – 7:57
“Dream Again” – 3:20
“Katherine Kiss Me” – 2:56

This is Definium’s own Kevin Mak’s first review.