Will Tomorrow Never Come?
On the follow-up to their eponymous Mercury Prize-winning debut, Franz Ferdinand asserted that we could have it so much better if we tried. Pity that they never learned to follow their own advice. In a textbook case of diminishing returns, the darts of pleasure on Tonight: Franz Ferdinand strike even fewer and farther between than those of its predecessors, with even worse aim.It didn’t have to be this way. The quartet began work on Tonight with producer Brian Higgins (Xenomania of Girls Aloud fame). An inspired choice of collaborator, it’s not hard to tell which songs still bear his signature: the synthesized pulse of “”Twilight Omens,”” the Blondie-esque rapture of “”Live Alone”” and the epic electro-jam “”Lucid Dreams,”” retooled and reinvigorated since its initial leak. Alas, Higgins and the band parted ways midway through the album’s completion, with drummer Paul Thomson explaining that “”we’re not really a pop group.””
ame Whether pop, indie or otherwise, artists with a shred of savvy should know better than to stubbornly cling to sounds and ideas that were worn out two albums ago. Not Franz Ferdinand, though. Album opener “”Ulysses”” is their first hit “”Take Me Out”” on barbiturates, while “”No You Girls Never Know”” is an inferior revision of their debut’s “”The Dark of the Matinee.”” The latter track also highlights this album’s lack of lyrical inspiration: Allegedly about drug-induced, sex-crazed nightlife, anyone enticed by cliches like “”let’s get high”” and “”kiss me where your eye won’t meet me”” is already high enough.
ame This lather-rinse-repeat method of songcraft might have been forgiven by most had it not already occurred on You Could Have It So Much Better, rushed onto store shelves a mere 18 months after 2004’s Franz Ferdinand. Given the nearly four-year buildup this time around, however, the same behavior on Tonight is quite the disappointment.