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Franz Ferdinand

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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Line-up:
Alexander Kapranos - Vocals/Guitar
Paul Thompson - Percussions
Robert Hardy - Bass Guitar
Nicolas McCarthy - Guitar/Backing Vocals


"Though they have a reputation as being bohemian art-obsessed dilettantes, they're at the vanguard of the Art Wave scene, and possess a fierce determination to change the face of modern music--their twin aims: to bring back cerebral rock that makes you want to dance, and to bring frontline music back home (...) Though they draw on the past, they do so wisely, injecting voguish angular 80s synth-pop with old-fashioned heart and soul. Their debut embraces the experimental, featuring time-signature changes and mid-song tempo drops, yet its solidity prevents it from consignment to the gratuitously quirky bin. If you feel that the Rapture lack a sense of drama and Interpol lack joy and energy, then Franz Ferdinand are the boys for you. Their stated ambition is to erase the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from the annals of history and replace him in the collective consciousness with themselves. Archduke who?
-- Paul Eisinger, amazon.com

 Franz Ferdinand Discography - Album / CD Reviews

***½ 2004: Franz Ferdinand audio

"Not since the heyday of the Strokes and the White Stripes (!) have the British rock press been so unanimously orgiastic over a bunch of sharp-dressed, song-writing instrument wielders. (...) Careful listening isn't required to notice echoes of Gang Of Four's scratchy swing, The Smiths' lambent lovelorn proclivity, The Fall's sideways punk dynamism and even a dance-oriented pulse that suggests, albeit abstractly, the rampant rhythmic hedonism of acid house-era warehouse parties and the low-slung dance productions of the DFA crew. There's also some of the most striking use of bass since Peter Hook's work with New Order and Joy Division, and the presence of curiously evocative lyricism that gives the most banal of situations a curiously exciting resonance, as well as the seemingly obligatory employment of jerky, scratchy guitar a la Television, all dolled up in a spazz-dance sheen. Despite all of this, these are ridiculously tuneful, deceptively straightforward rock songs, all of which hover around the three-to-four minute mark. Comparisons with the aforementioned Strokes are all but inevitable, both in scenario and in sound. (...) this album is an arms-flailing classic, to which dancing like a headcase yields inexplicable reward.
-- Allan Harrison, Splendid Magazine


***¼ 2005: You Could Have it So Much Better

Tracklisting: 1.The Fallen 2.Do You Want To 3.This Boy 4.Walk Away 5.Evil & A Heathen 6.You're The Reason I'm Leaving 7.Eleanor Put Your Boots On 8.Well That Was Easy 9.What You Meant 10.I'm Your Villain 11.You Could Have It So Much Better 12.Fade Together 13.Outsiders
"'You Could Have It So Much Better', as a whole, is harder-edged and rockier than last year's eponymous debut, perhaps as a result of the influence of new producer Rich Costey. The initial assault of the opening trio of songs - The Fallen, Do You Want To and the thrashily tuneful This Boy - is over in a flash; all three tracks come rushing at you hard, fast and jumpy. Likely future single Walk Away applies the brakes a touch, with a rare acoustic guitar and a straightforward four-four rhythm. It's a smooth and laconic song, all minor chords and mystery, with occasional spikes of edgy guitar piercing the lazy atmosphere. Another highlight comes with I'm Your Villain - a speedy, tempo-switching clash of Roxy Music, 'This Is Hardcore'-era Pulp, and The Undertones. The only real departures from the now trademark FF sound come with Fade Together, a wistful ballad let down by a poor chorus, and Eleanor Put Your Boots On, a very McCartney-esque effort which lyrically references a handful of New York landmarks like the Statue Of Liberty, and (less obviously) Coney Island. Both songs serve as a gentle foil to the record's almost all-pervading jumpiness."
-- Chris Watkeys, soundgenerator.com, 10/05

*** 2009: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Tracklisting: 1. Ulysses 2. Turn It On 3.No You Girls Never Know 4.Twilight Omens 5.Send Him Away 6.Live Alone 7.Bite Hard 8.What She Came For 9.Can't Stop Feeling 10.Lucid Dreams 11.Dream Again 12.Katherine Kiss Me
"Recently Franz Ferdinand appear to have been taking tips from Damon Albarn on how to successfully negotiate your way out of a creative cul-de-sac. They’ve backed platinum US rapper TI in New York and jammed with Baaba Maal as part of the Africa Express. They built their own studio from scratch in an old drug rehabilitation centre in Govan, blooded a hot young producer in Dan Carey and roadtested their new songs at a series of secret gigs everywhere from Fort William to Glastonbury. So after all that, the fact that Tonight: Franz Ferdinand sounds so dry and superficial is a nagging disappointment. There’s no need to call in the receivers just yet: lead-off single Ulysees, is actually rather terrific, its louche shuffling beat complemented by vampiric synth snarls and a particularly devilish Kapranos vocal (“C’mon, let’s get hiiiiigh!”) before exploding into a typically contagious Franz chorus. The alarm bells only start to ring when you realise that you can comfortably sing Take Me Out over the top of it. Squirty vintage synth lines pervade the album. This is hardly a revolutionary move at a time when kids are wigging out to the abrasive electronic squall of Crystal Castles, but they do add an impish zip to What She Came For and Bite Hard. Eno-era Roxy Music is the obvious stylistic template, but just as often the addition of keyboards simply makes Franz Ferdinand sound a bit more like the Kaiser Chiefs. Only on Lucid Dreams, as 'Tonight' enters its fourth quarter, are their new toys employed as anything more than a novelty turn, the song eventually surrendering to a shuddering acid house freakout in the manner of LCD Soundsystem’s Yeah. It’s exhilarating, although as with What She Came For’s pell-mell motorik coda, it does feel bolted on. (...) The inescapable feeling is that we could have had it so much better. For all their adroitness, most of the songs on 'Tonight' sound too similar to each other (and to existing Franz Ferdinand songs). It all feels so contained – there’s precious little cutting loose, no ambiguity, no vulnerability. Emotionally, it’s as plastic as the songs pumped out of the Xenomania hit factory where this album was nearly recorded."
-- Sam Richards, uncut.co.uk
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Recommended Links:

Franz Ferdinand: Official site
FranzFerdinand.org
 
Similar/Related Artists:

The Killers | The Strokes | Modest Mouse | Interpol | Hot Hot Heat | The Cure | Talking Heads | Rapture | The Smiths | Bloc Party

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