Franz Ferdinand – You could have it so much better

To prepare myself for the new Franz Ferdinand-album, I decided to listen to the single ‘Do You Want To’ first. And I nearly fell backwards. With the single track itself was nothing wong: typically Franz Ferdinand with a high singalong factor. But the mediocre second song ‘Fabulously Lazy’ made me frown, while the closing single track (a terribly out-of-tune sung acoustic version of ‘What You Meant’) almost made me cry. Well, not exactly a promise, was my first thought.

Luckily the long-awaited second album ‘You Could Have It So Much Better With Franz Ferdinand’ does not disappoint. The Scotsmen have not suddenly ventured into black metal-paths or started to experiment with breakbeats. The cd has for the most part been filled with angular, jumpy dance rock – never change a winning formula.

On the first part of ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ Franz Ferdinand firmly pushes the accelarator. It’s not until the Beatle-esque ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’ that the first moment of rest occurs. Now and then the voice of singer/guitarist Alexander Kapranos works a little on my nerves, especially as he almost hysterically tries to drown out the guitars. As the album progresses, things also get a little predictable in general.

In any case Franz Ferdinand is past the hype and has taken the hurdle of ‘that difficult second album’ (to use a cliche) with apparent ease. Just a year or two ago they played in Utrecht’s venue Ekko for about a hundred people, while on December 11 they perform in Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall for several thousand. Things can go fast…

artist: Franz Ferdinand
label: Domino Recording Co.
details: 13 tracks, 2005