Franz Ferdinand

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Domino

Aug 27, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


"If it isn't broke, don't fix it" goes the proverb. Of course your laptop running Windows 95 may still be technically working, but that's no reason to avoid an upgrade by now. In a way, Scotland's Franz Ferdinand epitomize the band undone by the fickle nature of trendsetting fans and their fragile, fluctuating concept of what's "cool." A generation of indie pop/rock aficionados will fondly recall the odd drunken sing-along to the hits from Franz's eponymous debut album almost a decade ago, but it's questionable how many will admit that even now the likes of "Darts of Pleasure," "Take Me Out," and "The Dark of the Matinee" hold up against today's equivalent mainstream straddlers.

Largely speaking, this fourth album follows the same pattern as the first album, and the one after that... and the one after that. Certainly much like previous record Tonight: Franz Ferdinand there are no obvious hits to carry the album, and it's very much rooted in what they know.

There are moments on Right Thoughts..., however, where the band goes for something a little bit different; "Stand on the Horizon" keeps those staccato guitars and the same drum sound but is uncharacteristically woozy and summery. When they follow this with some bright, near-country guitar lines on highlight "Fresh Strawberries" you start to believe Alex Kapranos has been listening to Calexico. The surf rock of "Bullet" completes a strong mid-album triumvirate.

Ultimately Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is the work of a band too settled in their ways and perhaps nervous of straying too far from what they know to ever truly be loved. To their credit though, it's proved a good idea to collaborate with the likes of Hot Chip, Veronica Falls, and Peter Bjorn & John, artists known for that same enjoyable lightness that elevates this record above the art school flotsam. (www.franzferdinand.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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