ALBUM REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
It may be an easy joke to make, but everything about the latest Franz Ferdinand album – the first since 2009 – is right. In this day and age, it’s difficult for a garage band to come back swinging for record number four, but these guys have done it. ‘Right Thoughts’ straddles the line between an uber-successful jam session and a carefully crafted piece of art without a hair out of place. In this case, the latter is more likely, as the band has been working on this set of songs since 2010. They even collaborated with polar opposites like Hot Chip in an attempt to push the envelope after feeling “creatively knackered.” Whatever they did, it worked. We haven’t heard anything groove quite like this in a long while.
Kapranos & co. wear many different hats for ‘Right Thoughts’. Sounds range from the ‘Right Back Where We Started’-esque disco of ‘Love Illumination’ to the ’96 Tears’ organ on ‘Treason! Animals.’ to the perfectly replicated 60s pop of ‘Fresh Strawberries’. Diverse as the styles may be, every song has an inescapable rhythm that, frankly, defies logic. And it just wouldn’t be Franz Ferdinand without Kapranos’ ridiculously suave and grandiose voice. Their cool points are approximately quadrupled through the heavily reverbed and overlapping vocals. The guitar is perfectly brash, trashy, and distorted. And don’t get us STARTED on their Scottish accents.
Bottom line: Franz Ferdinand are known as the cream of the British post-punk-garage-rock-whatever crop for good reason; listen to ‘Right Thoughts’ and you’ll get why. Everything they do is deliberate and delicious. Try not to walk with swagger when you listen to this beast.
Performing live at The Music Center at Strathmore on October 17th.