Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand

Released: April 20, 2004

Franz Ferdinand | Franz Ferdinand | Rating: 10.5/11 |

The four-piece Scottish band that answers to the name “Franz Ferdinand” set out to start a band that would “make music that girls could dance to.” I’m fairly certain that they’ve succeeded (and surpassed) this goal with their self-titled debut album. Franz Ferdinand as a whole is a very listenable, unique, and danceable CD. (Or at the very least, a foot-tappable one for those unfortunate coordinately-impaired folk.)

Franz Ferdinand’s sound on this disc strikes me as experimental and fearless without the effort implied. It feels as though they’re unafraid to try things lyrically and musically with an apt confidence to know that it all works well. “Michael,” for instance, has lead vocalist Alexander Kapranos spouting lines like, “Beautiful boys on a beautiful dance-floor / Michael you’re dancing like a beautiful dance-whore…So sexy, you’re sexy / Come and dance with me Michael.” It’s fun and slightly unexpected from a male vocalist, which makes it respectable in my book.

Most tracks on Franz Ferdinand also tend to be loose and variable even within themselves; the first verse doesn’t necessarily have to sound like the last, or like the chorus. “Jacqueline,” “Take Me Out,” and “Darts of Pleasure,” are all good examples. These are among the best songs on the record as well, perhaps due to the fast-paced and ever-changing sounds that make up the tracks. Thus the songs are kept interesting and fresh with each listen. Alexander’s vocals vary in pitch and pace right along with the instruments in a nice coalescence.

Lyrically, some of my favorites are “Auf Achse,” “The Dark of the Matinee,” and “Come on Home.” They are all rocking tracks but even more so when paying sole attention to the lyrics. “Auf Achse” tells a coherent story that blends well with its musical distinctness on the album. It’s a more somber sounding track, which fits perfectly with the tale. “Come On Home” contains yet another favorite verse of mine, in part: “Blue light falls upon your perfect skin / Falls and you draw back again / Falls and this is how I fell / And I cannot forget / I cannot forget / Come on Home.” The way it’s sung, sweetly, blends nicely with the sentiment.

Franz Ferdinand is a fun, refreshing, and addictive piece of work. It’s a no-miss record, and comes highly recommended from this reviewer.

– Jennifer F.