“Franz Ferdinand” are a four-piece Scottish indie rock band hailed from Glasgow, Scotland. They are frontman Alex Kapranos (Vocals and Guitar), Nick McCarthy (Guitar, Keyboards and Backing Vocals), Bob Hardy (Bass) and Paul Thomson (Drums). Their music genres include indie rock, post-punk revival and dance rock. Franz Ferdinand derived their name from historical figure Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Franz Ferdinand are back after a four-year wait. With their third full-length Tonight, i would say this album is worth the wait! They’re back with broader musical scope, they’re experimenting music and they’re having fun! Franz Ferdinand is back to rock us!
Delicious Tonight kicks off with the ever sexy “Ulysses”. Alex’s voice is sexy in a steady pace. The opening drum beats is very catchy, you would fall in love with this track once the music starts. Franz Ferdinand started off taking little steps with Alex’s improved vocals. I have never heard Alex singing in such way, Ulysses is sexy and sweaty. The music itself has shown Franz Ferdinand’s desire to add in some new aspects into their sound. “Come on let’s get high, come on let’s get high…” Franz Ferdinand has got to be the sexiest band on the dance floor!
“Turn It On” is another track that continues to make the ladies on the dance floor asking for more. The bass and guitar on this track are too irresistible. In the chorus, the backing vocals really complement Alex’s singing. Alex will go, “Although I know you turn it on yeah…” The rest of Franz Ferdinand will go “Turn it on…” Just amazing to hear Franz Ferdinand do that! Turn It On is like a dance club anthem where it never fails to get the crowd moving their body in a sense of appreciation of the music by Franz Ferdinand. Turn it on now with Franz Ferdinand!
“No You Girls” has some repetitive catchy guitar and bass hooks. The music throughout No You Girls is just simply awesome. The lyrics are smartly crafted as well, “Kiss me where your eye won’t meet me, meet me where your mind won’t kiss me…” The chorus also brings us another mesmerizing moment. It’s anthemic, sexy and catchy. The handclaps, guitar, organ and team-vocals are the climax here. “You girls never know, oh no, you girls’ll never know, no you girls never know, how you make a boy feel…” It’s loud and danceable! Dancing to a rock tune really requires lot of energy!
“Send Him Away” is soft danceable rock track where you would see Alex takes on a softer vocals approach. On every album of Franz Ferdinand, there would be songs that slow the tempo down, in other words, let our ears take a short rest from all the hype going on throughout the album. Send Him Away managed to do just that. I find it sweet and cute with the guitar that has a slight country element in it. In the last 1:12 minutes, Alex just sings, “Oh, can’t you let me stay tonight…” until it fades while the guitar just does the opposite as it gets louder near the end.
“Twilight Omens” starts off with scary-like string instrument that sounds like a banjo. It sort of brings back the atmosphere of those classical horror movies. Overall Twilight Omens brings you back to the 60s/70s. The way Franz Ferdinand sing throughout this track reflect the old days as well. A journey back to the past perhaps. Only this time, they do it with the influence of electronic music. Rocking old times!
“Bite Hard” begins slowly with the piano-playing and Alex’s breathy vocals. Once it reaches the right pace, the guitar, bass and drums just come in and it would surely wake you up instantly! In between, i like the organ that plays along, it just happens to be at the right place at the right time to make Bite Hard sounds more complete. The music also has a very heavy bass line that is so suitable on the dance floor. Nearing the end, Franz Ferdinand just keep getting louder, “Well I never, well I never, well I never know… I just had to taste their honey…” I think i’m getting up and dance!
“What She Came For” is also another track that contains heavy bass line, but this time is on mid-tempo pace. There are also some electronic elements in this track which Franz Ferdinand use throughout Tonight. At times, without the vocals of Alex, i find What She Came For cute and cheeky. The chorus hits a high with the group vocals of “Wow, look out, know what she came for. Know what she came for. No question, no doubt. Wow, look out, know what she came for…” And the background music, if you listen carefully, there’s a faint organ-playing. What She Came For also features Rosie Wilson on the vocals contribution part. Towards the end, Franz Ferdinand just go for the maximum volume and rock it hard with the guitars. I absolutely fancy this crazily cheeky yet rockable track.
“Live Alone” sort of reminds me of “You’re The Reason I’m Leaving” from “You Could Have It So Much Better”. At times, Gwen Stefani’s “What You’re Waiting For” just crosses my mind. Franz Ferdinand’s usage of synthesizers is very significant in this track as well. The guitar just comes in on and off as to follow the beat and rhythm of this track. And again, Live Alone is being sung in a way that’ll bring you back to the 60s/70s. The good old days are just getting popular nowadays. “You know that i’ll be here, i’ll be here wishing i could be there…” Nice paradox.
“Can’t Stop Feeling” is funnily good! The music in this track is really catchy, especially the instrument that sounds like a bass or maybe a synthesizers, and the beats that sound like a djembe’s which creates an atmosphere of African music. The music is funnily catchy and the moment you hear it, you can’t help but smile faintly. The singing of Can’t Stop Feeling is similarly catchy too. I like the part where Alex goes, “And you leave me here on my own, yeah you leave me here on the floor, you can’t feel it, and you can’t feel it… Anymore…” Just can’t stop listening to Can’t Stop Feeling.
“Lucid Dreams” sounds like a pure electronic track, which differs greatly from the non-album version. Franz Ferdinand are creating a new sound for themselves with Lucid Dreams here and it clocks in at over seven minutes long. From what i listen here, it’s clearly a remixed version of the non-album version. It goes directly to the chorus and climax without the normal build-up. The second half is pure music with heavy electronic elements and some guitar-playing. Franz Ferdinand are reborn again here.
In “Dream Again”, is a ballad that sees Franz Ferdinand have it soft and slow. At times, Alex can be heard singing in a robotic and echoic voice, “I live to dream again…” If you listen carefully, there’s no guitar in this track, just some beats created by synthesizers. Dream Again will take some time for you to grow into it, even if you’re not into it, you’d still appreciate Dream Again. Sweet and lovely track here.
Franz Ferdinand end Tonight with the acoustic “Katherine Kiss Me”. Alex sings with his heart here. He can be heard singing and strumming his guitar away. During the break, the piano comes in at the perfect time to complement Katherine Kiss Me. This track has the story-telling quality where you can clearly hear the voice of Alex as he sings and then you can figure out the meaning of this song. Franz Ferdinand present it with style and manage to close the chapter of Tonight on a soft note.
Rating: Tonight proved that Franz Ferdinand are exploring new musical elements rather than sticking back to their normal indie rock and post-punk revival. This time, Franz Ferdinand added electronic and slight african influences into their third full-length album. It’s always good to know that one of your favourite indie artists/bands are trying or creating something new and fresh. Franz Ferdinand have this ability to make new sound and at the same time, sounding the same. When it comes to creating catchy and danceable melody, Franz Ferdinand are always a force to be reckoned with. They are evolving with every album, and yet still manage to maintain their catchy trademark. If you’re a fan of Franz Ferdinand, you’ll be glad that you have included the right band into your all time favourite bands list. If not, you better be one now! Another achievement by Franz Ferdinand, 7.8 out of 10.
Stand-Out Tracks (My Picks): Ulysses, Turn It On, No You Girls, Send Him Away, Bite Hard, What She Came For, Can’t Stop Feeling and Katherine Kiss Me.