Tried and True
Within the first few seconds of the self-titled album from Franz Ferdinand, the listener might be a little disappointed, having been expecting a fresh rock and roll album full of raucous guitars and sing-along vocals. Instead, they receive a slow, heroin-induced, Nick Drake-ish, sad, drunk man with his acoustic guitar. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s measured, mellow and totally uncharacteristic of Franz. But never fear, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s only a mirage.After those first few seconds, when you think youâ€šÃ„Ã´re about to turn it off in frustration, grumbling â€šÃ„ÃºWhat? They didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t like their faithful fan base?â€šÃ„Ã¹ the punch-line manifests itself in all of the noisy fun glory that Franz Ferdinand has to offer. It is obvious that boys of Franz are settled in the midst of the Rival Rock movement, but as you listen more closely, elements of New Wave and Grunge are apparent. Lively high-hats spatter an upbeat tempo, abrupt punchy guitars maintain the beat, and a smooth British bass voice tweaks itself in a twang-y Robert Smith/Talking Heads fashion proclaiming that â€šÃ„ÃºItâ€šÃ„Ã´s much better on holiday!â€šÃ„Ã¹
Franz takes the standard of current rock and roll and puts their own twist on it, making it subtly their own. Being self-titled fits nicely, as it can only be described as sounding like Franz Ferdinand. The album on the whole is vivacious and happy, with simple guitars, animated drums, and well-thought-out vocal harmonies. As veterans of the music world, having been together for three years, and previously putting out three audacious rock albums, the fact that this album is completely satisfying is not at all surprising. In fact, at this point, it is expected.