LondonNet Music Guide

Franz Ferdinand

Album Review: You Could Have It So Much Better
Feb 15 2005, Dionysus Records

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Of Course We Really Want To
Franz Ferdinand's sophomoric release proves they are still partying, and oh-so hard...

The Glaswegian quartet have had a phenomenal couple of years, winning the Mercury Prize, performing at the Grammy and MTV awards over in the States and playing to a countless number of fans all over the globe. Their self-titled debut album sold over 3 million copies, leaving Franz Ferdinand and their curiously campy disposition sitting on top of the world.

Rather than sit and gloat at the competition, the boys got back into the studio and produced their sophomore album, You Could Have It So Much Better. If you were expecting to receive a concept album or some sort of polished, more seriously musical gang of tracks, then you are obviously listening to the wrong band.

While being described as a band bordering on many genres, from post-punk to indie rock, Franz could fit much easier into the role of bubblegum pop stars. The album jumps directly into the catchiness that their debut was focused around, the first lyrics of the album proclaiming, "So they say a troubled boy/ Just because you like to destroy/ All the things that bring the idiots joy/ Well, what's wrong with a little destruction?" The track, The Fallen, then moves into talking lyrics that take a page out of Schoolhouse Rock, convincing the listener that there is no other direction for these Scots.

Their signature guitar riffs and humorous lyrical tactics continue throughout their album, lending themselves nicely to songs such as their first single Do You Want To (an epic romp that becomes a sort of sing-along-song) and This Boy (its chorus consisting of repeating 'I want a car').

The one deviation this album provides is the addition of a few ballads. The constant make-you-want-to-dance guitar and drum combo is exchanged for a piano and soft-spoken lyrics in Fade Together and Eleanor Put Your Boots On. Eleanor is my favourite track on the disc, a graceful tune that sounds remarkably Beatles-esque and is most certainly written about singer Alex Kapranos' love interest, Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces. Walk Away, the second single, is not as toned down, but is definitely a slower version of Franz's distinct style.

If you want to tag this a statement album, I guess you could say the statement is that Franz Ferdinand would rather climb a tall building and shout how great they are while laughing in the background than write songs with any sort of emotional depth. One thing is for certain, though, and that is if you liked their amazingly successful first album, then you will welcome this one with open arms.

Brandon Morgan

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