Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Franz Ferdinand — "You Could Have It So Much Better..." Those sassy, sexy, Scottish boys of Franz Ferdinand are back with a release that is nearly, but not quite, as hot as their self-titled debut. Where their first album was full of 80s new wave energy with a slight lean towards the sound and attitude of indie-contemporaries Interpol and The Strokes, their sophomore release finds their range of influences growing. One can hear Simple Minds, Madness and The Rave Ups; as well as The Beatles (namely on "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" and "Fade Together"), David Bowie/Brian Eno ("I'm Your Villain") The Kinks ("What You Meant") and The Damned ("You're The Reason I'm Leaving") all seeping through the cracks. Lyrically, Alexander Kapranos is in top form, further infusing their retrospective musical nod towards 60s pop and late 70s punk-pop and post-punk. Although there are hooks galore, "You Could Have It So Much Better..." doesn't pack the urgent dance punk punch of their debut. However, ardent followers of 1983 U.K. post punk (Wire, The Stranglers) will find this a long player and successful evolution from the Duran Duran formula that made their debut so fiery last year.