FRANZ FERDINAND : Right Words, Right Thoughts, Right Action
Album four in a decade, and the glacial workrate betrays them. Whilst no one else quite sounds like them, “Right Words” is like slipping on a comfortable robe – within the opening thirty seconds – it's apparent that no one else does it like this, the rampaging bass lines, chugging drums, and the spiky guitar carries within it an inherent liveliness : “Evil Eye” resembles a children's nursery rhyme you have never heard before, yet played by adults – and also, the whole thing reminds me of a greatest hits record made out of songs you simply haven't heard yet. Perhaps Franz Ferdinand's approach – demonstrated here in spades – has always been simply to write every song as well as they possibly can, then take out all the bits that don't sound like a number one in some version of heaven. Even something as relatively sedate as “Fresh Strawberries” has a bright, and careworn rifforama – something like an indie Def Leppard – where even throwaway licks are the type of thing that other bands would build entire songs around. There's a touch of Joy Division, the low slung, throbbing bass, in “Treason! Animals”, and huge licks of Vince Clarke, and Talking Heads, in the other songs – only “The Universe Expanded” sounds like it belong on an album and not on the radio.
Deluxe Edition come with a second album, Franz Ferdinand recorded live in a studio, with several, songs off the parent record, as well as fresh, vibrant versions of the always-brilliant “No! You Girls”, “Do You Want To”, “Ulyssess”, the not-on-album before brilliance of “Love And Destroy”, and a stunning rework of “Can't Stop Feeling” which sees the Franz add in their own take on classics such as “I Feel Love”, “What Time Is Love?” and hints of other disco hits in a way that is utterly worth the price of admission ; when the song drops into a KLF hit near the end and builds to a thunderous orgasm, it's better than hearing classic disco on the best speakers in the world in 1978, especially when a Chic-like guitar riff throws itself into the song. Glorious.