The Bloody Classics - Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better, 2005, Domino Recording Company
Do You Want To
Evil and a Heathen
You're the Reason I'm Leaving
Eleanor Put Your Boots On
Well That Was Easy
What You Meant
I'm Your Villain
You Could Have It So Much Better
Franz Ferdinand got together in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. This was their second album and their last to be focused more on a post punk rather than a dance rock sound. It entered the UK album chart at number 1.
The lyrics to "The Fallen" might be cryptic, but the melody is great and it’s a very strong opener. Successful single release "Do You Want To" rips along, it feels very much like 1970s glam rock. Ramones-esque "This Boy" is the standout so far. It’s just the right side of frantic and the guitars are great. "Walk Away" slows things down, they sound a bit like early Pulp here, it’s much darker than the others and works beautifully. "Evil and a Heathen" is another frantic punky number. It’s got a particularly thumping guitar driven intro which is another highlight. "You're the Reason I'm Leaving" is typical of the band in that it can be interpreted either as a standard break up song or about the professional rivalry between former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, you decide I guess. It’s a great track, regardless. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" starts with some nice piano, it’s another slower number with a strong Beatles vibe, and the obvious choice for an accessible single. "What You Meant" has strong drums with a crashing intro but it’s actually quite a delicate song with some more piano. "I'm Your Villain" is a bit of a strange one, the constant changes of pace are a bit jarring and it never seems to truly get going. Ah-a, here it is, the awkward acoustic track; "Fade Together" is better forgotten. Thank goodness for synthy closer "Outsiders" which ends the album on a strong dancy note.
It’s an energetic album with lots of twists and turns but not many of the songs are that memorable. It feels quite poppy overall and like a lot of the tracks could easily have been singles. There are only a couple of genuine standouts and despite the variety of influences most of the album feels stylistically similar. It feels a bit throwaway though. I enjoyed it but I can’t see myself listening to it in full again. It’s pretty much just fun music without any meaning, which I suppose is fair enough. Franz Ferdinand were huge in the mid-2000s, but despite still releasing music their influence has waned in the intervening years. Perhaps having this much fun just isn’t sustainable in the long term.