Franz Ferdinand

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Written by: HES on 16/09/2013 21:26:33

Ever since the mega-hit "Take Me Out", Franz Ferdinand (comically named after the Austrian Archduke whose assassination started the first world war) has been a force to be reckoned with - adding another star on the increasingly bigger list of Scottish rock exports. The idiomatic "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action" is their fourth studio album and honestly - not a lot of things have changed.

So in case you've basically lived under a musical rock for the past 10 years, here's a brief characterization of the Franz Ferdinand-style: the music is very guitar-driven, the vocals are lethargic and drowsy and one will encounter rhythmic, monotone drums. All of this is wrapped in heavy doses of British dialect and humour. As mentioned before, not a lot changes in the landscape of Franz Ferdinand, however, this new album is probably pushing its limits as hard as they can be pushed. Most of the album is within the boundaries of the usual "we're not playing danceable rock, but we kind of are" realm and personally this doesn't float my boat and never has, because generally speaking this kind of music doesn't exactly have a lot of ups and downs, bells and whistles, surprises or anything out of the ordinary like that. I appreciate the consistency of the genre but it does get a tad boring – maybe even depressing?

So when "Brief Encounters" hit my speakers, I'm quite surprised to be rocking a bit more along than usual. The song is lead on by a weird synth-ish melody leading into the usual Franz Ferdinand-sound, only reduced to half of the usual tempo. The kind of off-tune backing vocals give the song a little bit of 70s-flair and the song is half the tempo, yet not slow. The distorted guitars sneering along the alien synth work very well and add the bit of expression and life Franz Ferdinand has always lacked in my view. "Goodbye Lovers And Friends" also surprises with absolutely wonderful lyrics and again, a joke-ish twinkle-in-eye shines through vocalist Alex Kapranos otherwise not-so-impressed expression. The lyrics sarcastically go: "So don't play any pop music. You know I hate pop music. Just sing the means in godless grace". Songs like "Love Illumination" are completely saved from the dullness of the genre by this amazing organ-like hook and blazing horns. "Bullet" is almost Beatles-esque in its funky chorus-hooks and "Fresh Strawberries" must be a direct reference to some very well-known fields made famous by the aforementioned band, as the song is almost to be considered canned, British sunshine - A very fitting sound for Franz Ferdinand. Unfortunately songs like "Treason! Animals" and title-track "Right Action" are the same old blend of non-engaging, kinda-for-dancing/kinda-not. I guess I'm just not too big of a fan of it but luckily this album is actually tipping the scales away from this trend.

Download: Fresh Strawberries, Goodbye Lovers And Friends, Love Illumination, Bullet
For the fans of: Kaiser Chiefs, White Lies, OK Go
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.08.2013

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